This is the biography of a ­marriage. It is a slender book, roughly 230 pages, not counting notes and index. Yet with a judicious instinct for the salient fact and a perspective born of sympathy and understanding, Carol Bishop-Gwyn creates something more expansive and profound than appearances might indicate. The marriage was that of Christopher and Mary Pratt, two painters very different in their approaches and styles — the author speaks of her “fire” as a contrast to his “ice”— and both icons in the world of Canadian art. His work is the more sombre in colour, with controlled and precise representations of the landscapes and architecture and signature objects of his native and beloved Newfoundland; these works reside in a distinctive universe somewhere between realism and abstraction. Her approach is decidedly less cerebral, more sensual and rooted in earthly and quotidian detail, represented in vivid colours in a photorealist mode, although darker and rawer subject matter eventually finds its way in.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *