Christopher Pratt, 1935 –

A Boat and the Moon | Christopher Pratt

A Boat and the Moon | Christopher Pratt

Limited Edition colour silkscreen, 1991.
No. 16 of 100.
Image size: 6.5 X 10 inches
Price: $3,500

Details: Signed, titled and dated with edition number beneath print.
Framed, measures approximately 13 X 16 inches.
Provenance: Private Collection, Ontario.

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Lance Point Rock | Christopher Pratt

Lance Point Rock | Christopher Pratt

Silkscreen serigraph on paper, Dec. 1990.
No. 37 of 70.
Image size: 14 X 30 inches
Price: $8,000

Details: Signed, titled and dated with edition number beneath print.
Framed, measures approximately 20 X 30 inches.
Provenance: Private Collection, Newfoundland; Emma Butler Gallery.
Note: A copy of this serigraph is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

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Easter at my Aunts | Christopher Pratt

Easter at my Aunts | Christopher Pratt

Limited Edition Lithograph, Dec. 1985.
No. 13 of 100.
Image size: 16.5 X 21 inches
Price: $3,000

Details: Signed, titled and dated with edition number beneath print.
Framed, measures approximately 23 X 27 inches.
Provenance: Private Collection, Ontario.

Additional Information and Photos Available Upon Request

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Christopher Pratt is one of Canada’s
most highly regarded visual artists

Biography

John Christopher Pratt was born in 1935 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Christopher Pratt showed an interest in art and painting in his teens but first enrolled in engineering at Memorial University in St. John’s. He then moved to a pre-med program at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, a path that would normally have led him to work in medicine.

At the same time, he started taking art classes in the school’s fine arts school and met fellow student artist Mary West, whom he married in 1957.

Instructors at Mount Allison included artists Alex Colville and Lawren Phillips Harris, the son of Lawren Harris, who encouraged Christopher Pratt to develop his paintings.

Christopher Pratt moved back to Newfoundland to paint full time, focusing on watercolours, and also visited art galleries in New York, where he was exposed to new artists.

Mary Pratt

In 1957, Christopher and Mary Pratt moved to Scotland, where Christopher Pratt attended the Glasgow School of Art. According to one account, Mary Pratt wasn’t allowed to enroll because she was pregnant with the couple’s first of four children.

The artist couple returned to New Brunswick to finish their Fine Art degrees at Mount Allison, and then moved to St. John’s.

Christopher Pratt took the job of being the curator of the newly opened Memorial University Art Gallery (now The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery), while Mary Pratt focused on domestic life.

The Pratt family moved to St. Mary’s Bay, with Christopher painting and experimenting with silkscreen making. Christopher Pratt continued to earn respect and accolades, resulting in his first solo show at Memorial University Art Gallery in 1965.

Designed Newfoundland flag

Also in 1965, Christopher Pratt became an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (ARCA) and the Canadian Society of Graphic Arts. He was named an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1973, then as a Companion of the Order 10 years later.

Christopher Pratt designed the new flag for Newfoundland and Labrador in 1980, cementing his artistic connection to his province, even though the flag design has not been universally popular.

Common themes for his art has been, not surprisingly, the sea, Newfoundland buildings, homes and landscapes, and boats, in his case sleek sailing boats. Windows are often used as the viewing mechanism for these scenes. Many of his landscapes place the horizon line in the bottom third of a work, with flat horizontal lines.

American Precisionism movement

These paintings and silkscreens are rendered with the precision of a draftsman, with distinct lines, angles and measurements, influenced by the work of Alex Colville and the American Precisionism movement.

Christopher Pratt also painted many portraits of young women, including nudes.

Christopher Pratt has had numerous exhibits of his art, including a major travelling exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada in 2005, and exhibits at major European cities. Several books of his art and prints have been published.

Mary Pratt and Christopher Pratt separated in 1990. Both artists achieving major status in Canadian art since then.

Christopher Pratt continues to live and work in Newfoundland.

Sources:  National Gallery of Canada artist biography retrieved online; Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador artist biography retrieved online; Wikipedia; The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Suggested Viewing

Video: The Arts Interview Christopher Pratt, Time: 29:35. Memorial University Art Gallery, retrieved from YouTube.com
Video: The Life and Times of Mary and Christopher Pratt, 1996. Time: 46:36. CBC, retrieved from YouTube.com