Libby Edwards Galleries & Art Consultancy

John Hart

John Hart is concerned with the complex, often ambivalent intersection between classical painting, photography and digital imaging. Drawing inspiration from realist artists including Gerhard Richter and Chuck Close, Hart employs photo-mechanical material as the impetus for his paintings. A tradition established by these predecessors was to set one representational process against another, creating a tension in the work between the indexicality of photography and the conceptual or imaginative possibilities of painting. 1.

Hart contributes a further intriguing dimension to this debate, translating the material nature and realism of digitally, manipulated photography into paintings which, paradoxically, are more persuasive in their illusion of the real.

With their theatrical lighting, magnified scale and eerie stillness, Hart’s images betray an overwhelming, almost unnerving sense of drama and strangeness: the longer one focuses upon this fragment of reality … the more intense or mysterious the experience becomes. Everyday objects (and more recently figures) that are wrapped in paper or fabric, mask any sense of the ‘familiar’. Such works notably transcend the obvious or particular - entering, rather, a metaphysical realm.

John Hart graduated from the New York Studio drawing school in 1997 after completing a Visual Art Honours degree at the Adelaide Central School of Art. He first exhibited with Libby Edwards Galleries in 2009, and his work was received with applause. His subsequent appearance in Art Sydney in 2009 and a survey exhibition at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery sealed his collectable profile. Hart comes with an artistic family pedigree - his father was the late Australian painter Pro Hart.

Encapsulating the realism of our time, Hart distills and meticulously renders his objects to such a degree that they cannot but be perceived as images in their own right, in their complete neutrality. Devoid of narrative overtones or overtly symbolic content, his paintings thus remain deliberately elusive, ambiguous - beguiling both the eye and mind with their enigmatic presence. As acclaimed philosopher of German Romanticism, Friedrich von Hardenberg (better known by his pseudonym ‘Novalis’) mused, ‘…By giving what is commonplace an exalted meaning, what is ordinary a mysterious aspect, what is familiar the impressiveness of the unfamiliar, and the finite the appearance of infinity.’2.

1., 2. extracts from essay by Veronica Angelatos, Arts Writer, Melbourne

2000 Bachelor of Visual Art with Honours, Adelaide Central School of Art (ACSA)
1999 New York Studio School Drawing Marathon with Graham Nixon, ACSA
1998 Advanced Diploma of Visual Art, ACSA
1997 New York Studio School Drawing Marathon with Graham Nixon, ACSA
Certificate of Visual Art Practice, ACSA
1995 Life Drawing, North Adelaide School of Art

Solo Exhibitions
2010 Recent Works, Libby Edwards Galleries
2008 Works On Paper 08, Adelaide Central Galleries
2007 analoge, House of Phillips Fine Art, Sydney
2004 Recent Works, Cube Contemporary Art
2002 Recent Work, Studio 91b, Adelaide
Evocation, SOHO Galleries, Sydney
2001 Athlon, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide
1996 Greenhill Gallery, Adelaide
1995 Anthill Gallery, Adelaide

Group Exhibitions
2011 -May New England Regional Art Museum (Eutick travelling exhib)
2011 -Oct Muswellbrook Arts Centre (Eutick)
2011 -Dec Taree Regional Gallery (Eutick)
2010 (Finalist) Eutick Memorial Still Life award
2009 (Finalist) Eutick Memorial Still Life award
2008 works on paper 08, Adelaide Central Gallery
2007 Broken Archies, Broken Hill Regional Gallery
2003 On the Edge of Sundown, Regional Art Gallery, Broken Hill
Dress Undress, Littlewood & Hart, Melbourne
SALA Week, Cube Contempory Art, Adelaide
2002 Melbourne Art Fair, Cube Contempory Art
2001 7 Up, Studio 91b, Sala Week, Adelaide
2000 Hard Drive, Feast Festival, Adelaide
Post-Graduate, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide
Nova 2000, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide
Adelaide Central Gallery Graduate Exhibition, Adelaide
Helpmann Academy Graduate exhibition, Adelaide
1998 SALA Week, Greenhill Gallery, Adelaide
1997 Loreto Art Show, Adelaide

Taylor, Rod; Artdate, Issue 31, March 2000.
Heinrich, Greg; The Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition, Adelaide GT, Issue 187, March 2000
Walker, Wendy; When Art is Poles Apart, The Advertiser, March 2000
Walker, Wendy, The Young Figure it Out, The Advertiser, July 29, 2000
Neylon, John; Masking, Binding, Adelaide Review, February 2001

Private Collections
Xavier College, Melbourne

Public Collections
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery