People and Place is a new exhibition of paintings and pastels by John Hartman, one of Canada’s preeminent painters, renowned for his gestural and impasto depictions of some the country’s most iconic landscapes including Georgian Bay, Ontario.
While Hartman has received national acclaim for his series including Big North and CITIES, lesser known are his portraits, a genre he has engaged with throughout his career. The notion that people and landscape are inextricable from one another has always been a dominant theme in Hartman’s work.
This exhibition at Toronto's Nicholas Metivier Gallery debuts an ambitious and groundbreaking new project by Hartman. Over the last four years, he has been painting Canadian authors situated above their "home landscape". As Hartman defines it, one’s home landscape is not necessarily where they are born but the place they are most influenced by. Participating authors in the project include Ian Brown, David Adams Richards, Esi Edugyan, Lisa Moore, Linden MacIntyre, Kathleen Winter and Thomas King.
In contrast to his early paintings where the landscape dominated the canvas and small figurative vignettes populated the sky, here the authors are larger than life and in the foreground. Hartman paints with a raw and expressionistic style that aims to capture an aspect of the subject’s soul. His thick brushstrokes highlight the contours of the authors faces and echo the topography of the landscape in the background.
In addition to the portraits are paintings and pastels of landscapes that are based on or around the locations that Hartman visited for the project. While Hartman has captured many urban and remote places in Canada over the course of his career, this series introduces new regions to Hartman’s work including the Okanagan Valley and Tofino in British Columbia and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.
People and Place runs from 8 November until 8 December 2018 at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto, Canada. Find out more: metiviergallery.com.