Lance Point Rock
Lance Point, Newfoundland
1990, Christopher Pratt
color serlgraph on rising museum board
National Gallery of Canada, 41616
Lance Point Rock stands out in Christopher Pratt’s body of work as it is a landscape without a single architectural structure.
However, it stills bears many of the elements that make Pratt’s work so distinctive. For Pratt, light is the only subjective requirement for an image.
He strives to represent light as it exists, without resorting to manipulation or dramatic intention. We see this technique in the overcast light illuminating all the elements in the image.
Pratt uses fragments of memories and personal experiences as the impetus for the creation of locales within his work. He doesn’t represent these places in a realistic or natural way. Instead he uses these elements as metaphors for people, time and experience.
Prevalent in Pratt’s work is a flatness of subject coupled with a release into deep space; in this case the low rocks at the left give way to the windy ocean beyond, complete with a distant horizon.
In Lance Point Rock, as with most of his work, Pratt avoids the artistic device of vanishing point perspective, instead preferring to imply depth by stacking two dimensional planes. The
viewer becomes mesmerized by the print as the eye travels over the water in the foreground, then over the highlights and shadows that define the exposed rocky shore and finally over the lattice of snow. Pratt often compliments this type of patterning with vast empty spaces. In this case it is the sky.
It seems at times Pratt wants us to simply appreciate the inherent beauty and arrangement of the forms in his work. He attempts to avoid over-intellectual interpretations and hopes for a more intuitive connection between the viewer and his image.