CHRISTOPHER PRATT (Estate), 1935-2022


I have always had a sense that there is an immense presence in ordinariness. This ordinariness is not a celebration of the sordid or the tawdry or the trite: it celebrates the non-exotic, the anti-picturesque. Conceptually, it is totally North American: it is Hopper's hotel rooms and Hemingway's descriptions of Nick Adams and Alex Colville's cows. It is that substrate of self-consciousness and insecurity that troubles the surface bravado of Walt Whitman's poetry; it is Grant Wood's innocence in offering "American Gothic" up to ridicule. It is why Mary Cassatt ought not to have gone to Paris and why Georgia O'Keefe and Emily Carr did better staying home. It is the difference in the albeit mannered peopling of paintings by Thomas Hart Benton and the peasants in the work of Jean Francois Millet - who still never owed much to Maccicio. It is Shaker furniture, but it is never puritanical. It is the dignity of things that have nothing going for them beyond the fact of their existence. It is an ordinariness saturated with democracy, with potential, like the hum you hear in a length of rope stretched to its limit, just before it breaks.


Ordinary Things: A Different Kind of Voyage, 2009

CHRISTOPHER PRATT (1935-2022) was born in St. John's, Newfoundland. He attended the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, from 1957-1959 and in 1961 he received a B.A. in Fine Art from Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick.


Throughout his career, Pratt has received many awards and honours. In 1965, Pratt became an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (ARCA) and a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Art. In 1969, he was a member of the Canada Council Visual Arts Jury. In 1973, Pratt was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1983 he became a Companion of the Order. In 1980 Pratt designed the Provincial Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Christopher Pratt was the subject of a major touring retrospective organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1985, a touring print retrospective and catalogue raisonné, The Prints of Christopher Pratt: 1958 - 1991 in 1992 and a major travelling exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada in 2005. In 2015, the exhibition "Christopher Pratt: The Places I Go" was featured at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland.


Pratt's work can be found in numerous international public, corporate and private collections, including Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Art Gallery of Ontario, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick; McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Museum London, Ontario; National Gallery of Canada, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland; Vancouver Art Gallery, Bank of Montreal, London Life, RBC Financial Group, Scotiabank, Shaw Communications, Torys LLP and UBS Securities, Canada.


Christopher Pratt lives and works in Mount Carmel, Newfoundland and has been represented by Mira Godard Gallery for 50 years.