CC OC RCA
1935 - 2018
mixed media on paper
signed and dated 1992
44 x 39 in, 111.8 x 99.1 cm
Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000
Sold for: $34,250
Important Corporate Collection
Ray Cronin, Mary Pratt: Life & Work, Art Canada Institute, 2019, pages 39 and 40
Mary Pratt's work is known for her fascination with light and its transformative effect on the spaces and objects of everyday life. Pratt’s Bonfire series is an important departure from her finely-detailed still life compositions. Rather than capture the interaction between light and various objects, Pratt shows the immediacy and volatility of the firelight. Tom Smart notes that “in the bonfire drawings, she was able to represent light itself at the moment of its creation as it consumes matter”. Pratt imbues the works in this fire series with a visceral sensibility, which echoes the energetic technique required to create her large-scale dynamic compositions. Smart writes that Pratt would “move around, use her whole body to make marks on the paper”. According to Pratt, "the fire had to be alive," and the pliable, fluid medium of pastel allowed her to work quickly and expressively, echoing the unpredictability of a bonfire, and to transfer its dynamic, primal and ephemeral qualities onto paper.
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