Christopher Pratt: Six Decades
Hardcover, 176 pages
Author: Tom Smart
100 full-colour photographs
Firefly Books, 2013
Christopher Pratt is one of Canada's most prominent painters and printmakers. His reputation was solidified with the celebrated retrospective of his work at the National Gallery of Canada in 2005.
The intense realism of Christopher Pratt's art is, at first glance, deceptively simple. But behind the recognizable images lie deeper meanings. Pratt's search for a reality that is magical and mysterious gives his work its uncanny and haunting qualities. Since the day in the mid-1950s when Pratt first saw the painting Early Sunday Morning by the renowned American realist, Edward Hopper, he has perfected his ability to represent the qualities of natural and artificial light.
Pratt stands in the line of other great Canadian artists, including Alex Colville, Lawren P. Harris, Jean Paul Lemieux and Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald, all of whom influenced him and the way he represents the land. Others who figured in his development include Americans Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and Thomas Eakins. The unique and beautiful island of Newfoundland, with its culture, history, geography and weather, has also influenced his work.
This handsomely designed book, published in association with the Art Gallery of Sudbury, traces Pratt's development as a painter and printmaker from his early watercolors through to the iconic paintings of his mature years. It features more than 100 works, all beautifully reproduced, many of which have never been published before.
Christopher Pratt was born in 1935 in St. John's, Newfoundland. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and at Mount Allison University, in Sackville, New Brunswick, and is universally acknowledged as one of the most important Canadian artists of the period. His work is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Musé
e d'Art Contemporain of Montreal and Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well as in private and corporate collections in North America and around the world. He is represented by the Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto.
Pratt lives and works in the village of St. Mary's Bay on the Salmonier River in Newfoundland. Over the years, he has exhibited both nationally and internationally, with exhibitions in New York (1976); at Canada House Cultural Centre Gallery in London, England (an exhibition that traveled to Paris, Brussels and Dublin in 1982-83); and at the 49th Parallel Gallery in New York (1988).
Tom Smart is the author of numerous books and has worked in art galleries, museums and institutions across Canada and the United States, including at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where he was Executive Director; the Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was Director of Collection and Exhibitions, and Director of Museum Programs. In 2006 he was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.