Artist’s Notebook – Joseph Hartman’s talk

Artist Chris Erskine at Joseph Hartman's Talk
Artist Chris Erskine at Joseph Hartman’s Talk

Artist’s Notebook – Joseph Hartman Artist’s Talk

May 5th, 2016 – The campus art gallery held an artist’s talk with Joseph Hartman.

Hartman is a Hamilton-based artist who uses photography to explore various themes; mostly urban landscapes.

I find that most interesting contemporary urban landscapes are being done in photography, and not painting.  At the moment, painting seems fixated on rural or urban-nature themes.  It was Joseph’s urban settings that attracted me to this event.

The crowd of 30 plus people was quite impressive, particularly given the nice spring weather and the fact that exams have finished.  Hartman has several claims to fame: he is a campus grad, his father is the famous painter, John Hartman; and he studied under Edward Burtynsky, who now has an international following in landscape photography.

John Hartman is one of my favorite Canadian landscape painters.  I fell in love with his work in the early 1990s with an amazing large scale canvas that the campus gallery owns.

Edward Burtynsky we discovered back in 2005, just after his big New York City show.  We wanted to buy one of his Italian quarry photos, but $5,000 price was just beyond our comfort level.  We always regretted our hesitation because these works quickly sold out and the price of his newer works are now in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.

The best thing I can say about Joseph’s work is it very independent from the influences of his father or Burtynsky.

I felt a strong connection to several of his works, particularly the mountain views of the city with their use of colour and streets to organize the mass of the details.

I believe Charles Meanwell was in the audience, but after the talk he disappeared into the crowd.  I am a big fan of his work.

I didn’t hang around for the reception, these things always make me uncomfortable.

I highly recommend seeing Joseph Hartman’s work either at the campus art gallery or the upcoming Carnagie Gallery show in June.

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