Artwork by John Hartman,  Tar Island

John Hartman
Tar Island

oil on canvas
signed, titled and dated 2001 on the stretcher
30 x 36 ins ( 76.2 x 91.4 cms )

Auction Estimate: $8,000.00$6,000.00 - $8,000.00

Price Realized $9,000.00
Sale date: December 3rd 2020

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Matthew Hart, ‘Personal Universe: the Landscape Painting of John Hartman’ in “Big North: The Paintings of John Hartman”, Toronto, 1999, pages 84-85
Born in Midland on Georgian Bay, John Hartman was encouraged by family to draw and paint from the landscape in his youth. Influenced early on by the loose, confident brushwork of European expressionist painters, Hartman drew equal inspiration from paintings of the Canadian landscape. He commented; “I wanted to paint Georgian Bay. As a student I’d been saturated with Europe. Now I wanted to connect with Canada. So I started to look at Milne, Goodridge Roberts, Tom Thomson. When I graduated in 1974 no one was painting imagery, or at least we weren’t seeing it focused on by the art-critical establishment.”

Hartman’s painting “Tar Island” visually emphasizes the horizon line. The articulations of the land become increasingly compressed with distance, pulling the viewer’s attention into the surprising depth of the pictorial space. Hartman’s exaggerated and distinctive palette deftly handles the tonal shifts from the chilly blues of the sky to the rusty, earthy reds of the land. Rapid, gestural brushstrokes energize the work and enrich the painterly surface. Hartman’s work offers a contemporary take on the well-established tradition of Canadian landscape painting.

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John Hartman