John Hartman: Flying into Cape Dorset

July 8 - 31, 2021

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce Flying into Cape Dorset, an exhibition of early paintings and works on paper by John Hartman. The exhibition will open on July 8th and run until July 31st.


In November 1989, John Hartman travelled to Cape Dorset for a month-long residency at the Kinngait Studios. Hartman worked alongside young and senior artists in the lithography workshop and taught a course in drawing. When Hartman returned to his studio in Lafontaine, Ontario, he made works on paper and oil paintings based on his studies and memories of his experiences in Cape Dorset. 


At the centre of this exhibition are three oil paintings that have never been shown before. They are examples of some of Hartman’s earliest paintings. In these works, Hartman uses vivid colour and gestural brushstrokes to describe the landscape while haunting figures float over Cape Dorset. Several works in this exhibition illustrate Hartman’s admiration for the Inuit artists’ respective practices including Kenojuak Ashevak, who would draw with her body lifted onto the giant litho stones. Another vivid memory for Hartman is the dramatic experience of landing and taking off on the air strip in Cape Dorset. Short in length and set on the edge of a cliff over the harbour, it allows little margin for error.


Also included in the exhibition are drypoint etchings, pastels, watercolours, monoprints and drawings on the subject of Cape Dorset. With his expressive use of line, Hartman recounted the stories of everyday life with a mix of detailed observation and imagination.


To view the exhibition walkthrough, click here.

To watch a conversation between John Hartman and Ian Brown, click here.

To access the viewing room, click here.