A solo exhibition, July 22 – August 28, 2020
Virtual Vernissage/Artist Talk: Saturday July 25, 3pm-4pm
From July 22 to August 28, 2020, Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present Michael Pittman: Hard, hard times. A native of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Michael Pittman’s paintings examine elements of Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, vernacular culture, and folklore in a contemporary context. His works are often introspective and highly subjective, using a personal lens and a striking visual language that he has developed over nearly two decades.
The title of this exhibition comes from a Newfoundland folk song “Hard, hard times” that has inspired the artist. “There are universal parallels throughout the lyrics that resonate particularly loudly for me these days, in both personal and societal contexts” he states. The song presents life as a series of tribulations, with each verse outlining a particular hardship faced by a fisherman/livyer. The final verse of the song succinctly summarizes the general premise:
Now all you good people you’ll work with a will,
For all of us soon will be hauled on the hill,
It’s there they will lay us down deep in the cold,
And when you are finished you’re in the hole still,
And it’s hard hard times.*
*Source: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA 78-054 – F3280/C3283r/CD-F576, Track 7)
Michael Pittman received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland (2001), and a research-led Masters degree in painting from the Waterford Institute of Technology in Waterford, Ireland (2006). In 2012, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in Newfoundland curated a solo exhibition of his artwork entitled “Michael Pittman: Haunted Half” comprised of over 5 years of the artist’s visual explorations. In 2013, Pittman was long-listed for the prestigious Sobey Art Award, Canada’s pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art, and in 2014 his work was included in a comprehensive exhibition of Contemporary visual art from Newfoundland and Labrador at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. Pittman’s work was shown in Venice, Italy in 2017 as part of the Benetton Foundation’s Imago Mundi collection at the 2017 Venice Biennale. In 2018-19, his work was featured in “Future Possible”, an exhibition that juxtaposed historic art and views of Newfoundland and Labrador with contemporary perspectives and practices – a two-part series that is expected to result in a major publication, marking the first comprehensive art history of Newfoundland and Labrador. Michael Pittman has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and his works are held in many private and public collections, including The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, the City of St. John’s, the Waterford Institute of Technology, and Memorial University.
Virtual Vernissage/Artist Talk: Saturday July 25, 3pm-4pm. Artist Michael Pittman will join us live via video link from Newfoundland. You can join us from the comfort of your home through a video link that can be accessed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Please email us at [email protected] and we will send you the link.
The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of ArtsNL, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.