Artwork by Mary Pratt,  Baking Bread
Thumbnail of Artwork by Mary Pratt,  Baking Bread Thumbnail of Artwork by Mary Pratt,  Baking Bread Thumbnail of Artwork by Mary Pratt,  Baking Bread

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Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #32

Mary Pratt
Baking Bread

oil on board
signed and dated 1974 lower right
16 x 24 ins ( 40.6 x 61 cms )

Estimated: $30,000.00 - $40,000.00

Provenance:
Private Collection, New Brunswick
Literature:
Sandra Gwyn and Gerta Moray, introduction to Mary Pratt, Toronto, 1989, pages 1 and 23
While her husband painted full-time, Mary Pratt did so only when she had a spare moment in her homemaking duties. She found her subjects in her daily routine, and she elevated these images of everyday household objects from the banal to something beautiful and significant. With regards to her choice of subject matter, the artist declared: “The things that turn me on to painting are the things I really like... I’m getting supper and suddenly I look at the roast in the oven or the cod fillet spread out on the foil, and I get this gut reaction. I think, ‘that’s gorgeous, that’s absolutely wonderful, and I must save it.’” Pratt undoubtedly had this sentiment in her conception of “Baking Bread”, as one is easily drawn to the delectable aroma of bread baking in an oven and peeking at its rising golden crust. “Baking Bread” exemplifies Pratt’s celebration of the ordinary, a pervading theme in her work throughout the 1970s.

Pratt was particularly interested in capturing effects of light to add a dramatic or theatrical aspect to her artwork, as evidenced in the warm glow of this composition. She painted from photographic slides projected onto a canvas, so as to capture and accurately depict the light of one particular moment. Sandra Gwyn states that “the strength of Mary Pratt’s paintings lies in the fact that they...openly acknowledge the photograph, which is inseparable from the process of their making.” Interestingly, the artist had no idea that her choice of style was consistent with those of the New Realist movement, a contemporaneous group of Canadian and international artists who also adopted the practice of painting from photographs. Rather, Pratt arrived at this approach on her own as a result of convenience and her immediate surroundings, in addition to her formal training from Alex Colville and Mount Allison University.
Sale Date: November 23rd 2017

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Preview this item at:

Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


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Mary Pratt
(1935) RCA

Mary Frances Pratt studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University under Alex Colville, who guided her artistic approach to shift towards realism. She married fellow art student Christopher Pratt in 1957, obtained her degree in 1961 and had four children by 1964.

While her husband painted full-time, Pratt did so only when she had a spare moment in her homemaking duties. She found her subjects in her daily routine, with a focus on food – jars of jelly, bowls of fruit, raw meat and fish. Pratt elevated these images of everyday household objects from the banal to something beautiful and significant. With regards to her choice of subject matter, the artist declared: “My strength has always been to find something where others found nothing. There’s a depth to everything, and everything is worth looking at, like those roses that are now past their prime. Everything is worth consideration. I really believe that.”

Pratt was particularly interested in capturing effects of light to add a dramatic or theatrical aspect to her artwork. She painted from photographic slides projected onto a canvas, so as to capture and accurately depict the light of one particular moment. Pratt currently resides in Fredericton and is widely considered to be one of Canada’s finest still-life realist artists.