Cities: John Hartman at the Art Gallery of Calgary

Cities: John Hartman, presented by Scotiabank Group, opens on Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm at the Art Gallery of Calgary and will be on view through August 25, 2007.

This exhibition of 18 new Hartman works from a variety of public and private collections has been organized and circulated by the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and will tour Canada through 2009.

As one of Canadas leading contemporary painters, Hartman is known for his large-scale expressionistic landscape paintings animated with the imagery of local historic events and personal narratives.

For Cities, 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, demonstrating a particular interest 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.

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, explains Hartman.

Hartman combines 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.

Ciies: John Hartman includes a major new artwork commissioned by Scotiabank to mark its 175th anniversary and its commitment as a corporate patron of contemporary Canadian art. Presented to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) in March 2007 on the occasion of Scotiabanks 175th Annual Meeting in Halifax, the 16.5-foot oil-on-linen triptych, entitled Halifax, will become part of the AGNS permanent collection following the international touring exhibition.

Cities is accompanied by a full-colour hardcover book published by Altitude Publishing and includes texts by curator Stuart Reid, Tom Thomson Art Gallery and Noah Richler, author of This is My Country, Whats Yours?: A Literary Atlas of Canada, and features 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.

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