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In memoriam Christopher Pratt


7 July 2022 - 11 December 2022


7 July 2022
11 December 2022


Staring directly at the viewer Christopher Pratt stands with his arms crossed in front of a window. The landscape behind him is snow covered, but the yellow of a grassy field peaks through as the seasons change. Inside the house, the walls and ceiling of the room he is standing in are cracked.

In memoriam Christopher Pratt

About this exhibition

These are pictures of places I have been in that strange place between reality and invention. More and more they come to represent real places, a celebration of the gift of being here, and there.

—Christopher Pratt

On Sunday, 5 June 2022, the Owens Art Gallery, and all of Mount Allison University, were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of renowned artist Christopher Pratt (Class of ’57). One of Canada’s most prominent and respected painters and printmakers, Pratt was known for work that drew extraordinary insight from the liminal spaces of ordinary life on the East Coast. His commitment to art as a vocation, and his deep love for his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, were evident in both his subject matter and his rigorous studio practice. Balancing precariously between tranquility and tension, his arresting compositions are social landscapes, carefully observed studies of Atlantic Canada’s modernist vernacular, and meditations on impermanence and change.

Pratt was a proud graduate of Mount Allison’s Fine Arts Department, where he met his best friend, Mary Pratt. Together, they were active members of the Class of ’57, where they found lifelong friendships. He described his years at Mount Allison, the people he met, and the teachers he had as formative to his career as an artist. Pratt relished the chance to speak with students at Mount Allison, sharing his insights with candor and wit. This spirit of sharing is reflected in the Pratt Lectures at Mount Allison (a Class of ’57 Project, named for both Mary Pratt and Christopher Pratt), which continue to support student learning through annual lectures that invite artists, curators, and academics to explore the role of art in the human experience.

This exhibition has been organized to coincide with Mount Allison Universtiy’s Alumni Reunion weekend.

In a gallery with burgundy carpet, several drawings, paintings and prints are hung on two walls. In the centre of the room is a bench.

Image: Christopher Pratt, Self-Portrait, 1961, oil on canvas, 74.3 x 99.7 cm. Collection of the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University