Iconic works by Christopher Pratt on display at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery


He was a giant.

John Leroux, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, talks about Christopher Pratt.

The famous Newfoundland and Labrador artist, who rose to international fame, died Sunday at the age of 86.

The Beaverbrook Gallery has over 50 works by Christopher Pratt and has mounted a memorial exhibition from their extensive collection.

Fredericton Gallery Honors Christopher Pratt

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery released a number of artworks by Christopher Pratt for a special exhibition in honor of the late painter on Sunday.

“He is considered one of the most important artists in Canadian history since the second half of the 20th century,” said Leroux.

Tom Smart, director of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, paid tribute on the gallery’s website.

Big cigarette, 1993, oil on canvas. This painting anchors a commemorative exhibition of the work of Christopher Pratt at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. (Submitted by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery)

“It was an intense gaze that constantly searched for resonant visual metaphors of home and also alluded to the complexity of life, his and ours.”

Christopher Pratt, photographed by his son Ned in front of his painting Argentia Interior: The Ruins of Fort McAndrew. (Ned Pratt)

Pratt attended Mount Allison University, where he met his mentor, artist Alex Colville. It was also where he met his future first wife, Fredericton artist Mary (West) Pratt. All three painted in the style of magical realism, creating a sense of eerie stillness in their works, many of which have become iconic.

“That school of Magical Realism in Sackville, New Brunswick was absolutely formative, and it stayed with him for the rest of his life when he painted his beloved Newfoundland,” Leroux said.

“But he came here often. He spent a lot of time at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. He was a very strong ally for us and for art in Eastern Canada.”

John Leroux, director of collections and exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, says the gallery has about 50 works in its Christopher Pratt collection. (Joe MacDonald/CBC)

The gallery has several original paintings by Pratt, as well as serigraphs.

His work often reflected the landscapes of his surroundings in Newfoundland and Labrador, but Leroux said there was also a fascination with architecture, thanks in part to his brother, a well-known architect from St. John’s. .

Pratt had the ability to combine “technical, uncompromising rigor with a… poignant sense of nostalgia and nostalgia, often for place.”

Gaspé Passage, 1981, silkscreen, by Christopher Pratt. (Joe MacDonald/CBC)

“It’s a remarkable job,” Leroux said.

“And so in his honor, we’ve hung this memorial display of seven works from our collection that really speak to his love for Newfoundland, but also about that, just the wealth of art that this man created over half a -century.”

The distinctive signature of painter Christopher Pratt. (Joe MacDonald/CBC)

“We’re so lucky to have him here,” Leroux said.

“There will always be a Christopher Pratt as long as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery exists.”


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