Self-taught, Montreal artist Peter W. Hart fell in love with painting at the age of 39 by chance while flipping through a book that included a reproduction of Degas’ “Dancers”. This painting was a revelation to him. It awakened in him a sudden and intense passion for art in general and in particular the works of the Impressionists. The play of light, as well as the use and juxtaposition of primary colours, still fascinate him to this day. Inspired by the paintings of iconic artists like Monet, Renoir, Manet, Courbet, Pissarro and Van Gogh, Hart began painting and traveling the world to admire the originals of these masterpieces. What started as an avocation has become a vocation to which he has devoted himself for the last 28 years, forging a signature of his own and on many canvases.
In his paintings, Hart crystallizes his moods, transposing his emotions onto canvas, wood and other materials. Imbued with fiery energy, his works never leave the viewer unmoved. Vivid and expressive, his pieces are inspired by figurative paintings from another era, but are eminently contemporary. His colour palette, composed mainly of yellow, blue and red, is radiant. Each stroke is lively and assertive, the texture rich, the movement compelling. After favouring pastels for a long time, Hart now harnesses the spontaneity of acrylic and the three-dimensional density of mixed media, integrating everyday items such as noodles, rice and beads. Sometimes his canvases are as well illuminated by a constellation of glitter or gold powder and the glossy finish of his paintings evoke the luminosity of stained glass.
Hart’s works are an “ode to life.” They are defined in different collections; sometimes impactful like his close-ups of tulips and sunflowers; sometimes sunny and more languid such as his landscapes with fields and bodies of water; and sometimes purely abstract compositions with bold strokes and convoluted spirals. Like fireworks, they are a symphony of colors. Hart favors large or atypical canvases — in various shapes and dimensions, and often diptychs — but what’s striking is that each of his paintings, even the smallest, have a strong and flamboyant presence. All seem to extend beyond their frame, generously occupying a space of their own.
At the same time, his artistic approach is enriched by his career at the helm of a Montreal company that he has brought to the world stage as a leader in employee recognition and rewards.
A prolific artist, Peter W. Hart permanently exhibits his work at his own self-titled gallery located in the heart of Old Montreal. He also participates in group exhibitions and holds workshops with various charities.