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Christopher Pratt

The Grandeur of Generality

1978–2017

That Newfoundland painter Christopher Pratt is a Canadian artist of genuine importance and real distinction is scarcely ever, I think, disputed. What has not been examined closely enough, however, is the true source of that importance, his actual meaning as a painter. Despite the considerable amount of critical attention paid to him over the years (most of it respectful to a degree just short of idolatry), Pratt’s work continues to be regarded—rather muzzily—as the work of a painterly Platonist, a visionary with X-ray eyes for the reality that somehow lies beneath the sham of particularity.

For a quarter of a century now, Pratt’s spare pellucid meditations on the messages suspended within evacuated rooms, the translucent precision of the painted light defining his clapboard walls, the mute eloquence of his serene seas, have come together to form what most viewers and critics see as a world of idealized forms. The force of these images lies in their apparent ability to lift us from the banalities of the everyday into the grandeur of generality.

The Grandeur of Generality
Solstice Drive to St. Anthony, 2008
The Grandeur of Generality
Driving to Venus: From Eddie's Cove East, 2000
The Grandeur of Generality
Road Between Night and Day, 1995
The Grandeur of Generality
A Building at Buchans, 2015
The Grandeur of Generality
A Hangar at Stephanville, 2017
The Grandeur of Generality
Spring: North of Bellburns, South of Anchor Point, 2016
The Grandeur of Generality
A Farewell to Fort MacAndrew: The Last Man Standing, 2017
The Grandeur of Generality
Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1994
The Grandeur of Generality
My Sixty-One, 1988
The Grandeur of Generality
The Ruins of Fort MacAndrew (Aka Argentia Naval Station), 2006
The Grandeur of Generality
Big Boat, 1987
The Grandeur of Generality
Hodges Hill, Crescent Moon and the Exploits River, 2010
The Grandeur of Generality
The Bridge, 1989
The Grandeur of Generality
Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1989
The Grandeur of Generality
Winter Moon, 1987
The Grandeur of Generality
Evening on The Salmonier River: Fall at my Place, 2009
The Grandeur of Generality
Lighthouse Door, 1978–2008
60°00'00.0"N 95°00'00.0"W

Location: Canada
Movement: Figurative

Text: Gary Michael Dault


Posted: May 2020
Category: Painting

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