John Hartman was born in Midland, Ontario, and studied Fine Art at McMaster University under George Wallace. In the 1980’s with the emergence of Neo-Expressionism, Hartman began to experiment with works that combined figurative, narrative and landscape traditions, presented from an aerial viewpoint. Over the past 25 years, he has exhibited his paintings internationally including; Canada, Great Britain, Denmark and Germany . His paintings and prints are included in numerous public, corporate and private collections in Canada and around the world. The artist is represented in Canada by Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto .
In Hartman’s CITIES series the carbuncular accumulation of houses and towers and cranes and docks and roads that we call cities are presented as their own natural formation. Man is busy in these paintings, and though we no longer see him, is as integral to the landscape as the now dwarfed mountains, seas and lakes are. The landscape is still front and centre but it has changed its appearance and in its extraordinary purpose, ignores Nature as Canadians used to think of it.
“Hartman’s paintings are animated with a strong expressionistic style, amplifiying colour produced by reflection and refraction. Hartman paints major port cities, contrasting the bright open space of water and sky with the dark and swarming density of compact urban growth. Hartman incorporates different perspectives and angles to produce an organic and sensory representation. He attempts to render cities as visceral: the roads as arteries, the buildings as armored skin, and the water and the sky as a breathing lung”.
Hartman works between his studio and home near Lafontaine and an island on Georgian Bay in Ontario, and frequently travels across North America and Europe sketching, photographing and documenting landscapes, cities and their stories and histories for his paintings