John Hartman: City Portraits – New Orleans

Exhibition Dates: January 9 – February 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 9 from 6–8 pm
Gallery Location: 434 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present City Portraits – New Orleans, an exhibition of paintings by John Hartman. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger@434, located at 434 Julia Street, from January 9 – February 27, 2016. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, Saturday, January 9 from 6-8 pm.

Doreen Ketchens, 2015 | Oil on linen | 34 x 36 inches

Doreen Ketchens, 2015 | Oil on linen | 34 x 36 inches

Furthering the theme of John Hartman’s 2013 solo exhibition with the gallery, City Portraits – New Orleans presents paintings of aerial views of the city and the surrounding parishes. The small- to large-scale works on panel and linen reflect the artist’s unique and vibrant color palette, and reveal his enduring esteem for the city and her contours. He explains, “I love how New Orleans looks from the air, the way the Mississippi twists back on itself as it moves across the delta, the hard geometry of the canals that cut to the gulf, the bridges, the industry along the river’s shoreline, the neighborhoods, all bathed in a soft, bright light from the surrounding water.”

To obtain his panoramic, bird’s eye perspectives, the artist flies over the city in a chartered plane, photographing the views and creating small watercolor studies. Back in the studio, he begins by making small oil paintings, dense with daubs of paint. Larger, more defined paintings are then created from the most intriguing compositions. The paintings present compact circuitries penetrated only by the snaking Mississippi River, until the curved horizon meets cloud-flecked skies. Unique to this new body of work is the addition of incorporated portraits of revered local musicians, such as Doreen “Queen Clarinet” Ketchens and Meschiya Lake, three-time winner of the Big Easy Awards’ Female Performer of the Year. Upon each visit to New Orleans, Hartman meets new people and believes that, “the city and its people are constantly creating each other.”

John Hartman was born in 1950 in Midland, Ontario, and studied Fine Art at McMaster University under George Wallace. He established his reputation with the Painting by the Bay exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Collection in 1993 and received national exposure in 1999 with the traveling exhibition and book Big North. In 2003, he began to paint aerial views of cities and these paintings made up the exhibition and book Cities, which toured Canada and internationally from 2007 to 2009. Hartman is a past finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the recipient of multiple grants from the Canada and Ontario Arts Councils. His work is in the collections of over thirty important public institutions including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Library of Canada, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador. John Hartman is based in Penetanguishene, Ontario and frequently travels across North America and Europe documenting landscapes, cities and their stories for his paintings.