Christopher Pratt: Prints from the Permanent Collection
On loan from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery Andrew and Laura McCain Art Gallery
Christopher Pratt (Canadian, b. 1935)
Placentia Bay, a Boat in Winter,1995
silkscreen on paper
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery enjoys the distinction of owning one of the most extensive public collections in the country of Pratt's serigraph prints, most of which were generously donated by Mr. James Coutts in memory of Peter McCain. This exhibition highlights 24 prints from an outstanding 52-piece collection, and focuses on the artist's consistent preoccupation with particular subject matter: clapboard houses, boats, and seascapes.
In his essay for the catalogue The Prints of Christopher Pratt: 1958-1991, Jay Scott draws an insightful parallel between Melville's Captain Ahab and Christopher Pratt:
Herman Melville's account of Captain Ahab's doomed quest for perfection in the epic novel Moby Dick, is as close as most people will ever get to experiencing whaling; similarly, Christopher Pratt's record of his own enchanted quest for perfection in an epic cycle of serigraphs is as close as most people will ever get to experiencing Newfoundland. But Moby Dick is not really about whaling and Pratt's prints are not really about Newfoundland: Melville and Pratt, sealubbers both, share the vaulting, potentially hubristic ambition associated with the greatest of artists, the desire to apprehend the general which is to say, the existential, the universal, the cosmic through the specific: They seek the secrets of solar systems in grains of sand. They retract to expand. They turn in to look out. They see small to think big.
Christopher Pratt: Prints from the Permanent Collection is a special outreach initiative aligned with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery's official designation as the Art Gallery of New Brunswick. Funded with assistance from the Province of New Brunswick, this exquisite provincial touring exhibition has been organized with the objective of making the Gallery's permanent collection more accessible to New Brunswickers throughout the province.
Curated by Terry Graff and organized and circulated by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery with support from the Province of New Brunswick.
Christopher Pratt (Canadian,
b. 1935 )
Yacht Wintering, 1984,
screenprint on paper