John Hartman   Cities

November 24, 2007 - January 20, 2008

John Hartman has painted cities both large and small, from Parry Sound, Port Severn and Owen Sound on the shores of Georgian Bay, to London, New York, Toronto, Montreal and Glasgow.  The artist is particularly interested in cities that are also ports. His paintings of imagined aerial perspectives look down on the intricate contours of the urban space where towers, cranes and docks meet the open blue of an ocean, lake or river. 

He writes: The water reflects the sun and creates an intensity of light above these places.  This light in the sky is so different in feeling from the material density of the cities themselves, but both are full of possibilities for painting.

Hartman sets out to combine his own memories of cities with a collective understanding informed by many factors: history, politics, film, literature, technology, and the media.  What results is a multi-faceted mapping that may not be geographically exact, but is immediately recognizable.

Hartman says, Because my experience of a place is generated over a continuum of time and by circling the place and seeing it from many viewpoints, the final images often have multiple viewpoints and often contain small vignettes of peoples’ lives that were lived in that place.

Cities is accompanied by a full colour, hard cover book published by Altitude Publishing, Banff.  The book includes texts by Stuart Reid, Noah Richler, author of This is my Country, What’s This is my Country, What’s Yours?: A Literary Atlas of Canada; with a foreword by Dennis Reid, Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Born in 1950 in Midland, Ontario, John Hartman studied Fine Art at McMaster University.  Over the past 25 years, he has exhibited his paintings internationally including exhibitions in Canada, Great Britain, Denmark and Germany.  His paintings and prints are included in numerous public, corporate and private collections in Canada and around the world.  The artist is represented in Canada by Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto.

Scotiabank Group is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.  To mark the occasion, the bank has elected to sponsor Cities: John Hartman as part of its commitment as a corporate patron of contemporary Canadian Art. The Lethbridge exhibition will be supplemented by a number of watercolour sketches the artist completed during his frequent visits to the Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area.

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