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Features / September 25, 2008

Christopher Pratt: Beyond Cities, and Into the Real

Christopher Pratt Solstice Drive to St. Anthony 2008 

It’s a big country out there, a fact easy to forget when cities crowd the agenda with their problems and hold on to how we imagine the future. In his landscape paintings of the past decade, Newfoundland painter Christopher Pratt has never forgotten the scale of the land we inhabit. His paintings have vanishing points that draw the eye to deep horizons. The sky lowers, temperatures cool—they aren’t pictures of vacation spots but rather places where work is done, where the economy transforms into built structures key to moving resources from the land to urban markets. This Atlantic Realist has a canny awareness of how landscape can embody a mood into vistas of promise or neglect. Together with Alex Colville, he has extended the tradition of Canadian landscape painting to register the imprint of late modernism and its entry into the global space of the 21st century. (22 Hazelton Ave, Toronto ON)