Chris Cart Unplugged – a solo exhibition

photo credit – Kate Cart

Chris Cart: Black & White | unplugged, unframed and having fun

September 6 – 28, 2013, opening Friday, September 6, 5-8pm

On September 5 the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell launches an exhibit of work by Chris Cart.  The show consists of a series of paintings and drawings in black and white watercolor, ink and mixed media on paper.  

Any visual style tends to keep an artist within its bounds, restricting the treatment of the narrative to its own visual language and brushwork.  Though Cart has been focusing on his best known, more colorful style for a number of years, this exhibit represents a more private, never before seen in public, body of work. The paintings range of style and treatment have a simplicity which at time verges on the Asian.

One series captures the raw power of our Maine wild woods with bold, black brushwork…the quiet at the top of a mountain or the rush of water around dark rock on its tumble down the mountain side.  

Other work is more intimate with delicate, incisive ink lines pulling quiet studio scenes from the white paper. There are also figure paintings, made introspective and somehow more personal by the intentionally limited palette. 

Taken as a whole, the show has the feel of a private studio journal of an artist at the height of his powers.

This is a fascinating and unique show, not to be missed.

“This is a launch of a new direction for my work.  I have been pursuing experiments for several years, pushing brushwork to the edge where illusionistic rendering breaks and brushstrokes become beautiful calligraphic marks in their own right.  There are two parallel series in this drawing journey, one figurative, the other the raw nature of Maine.  Some works are small, intimate, others commanding a wall.” — Chris Cart

This exhibition, and our entire 2013 exhibition lineup has been made possible by season sponsors the Bank of MaineDead River CompanyKennebec Savings Bank and Milestone Communications, and by generous support from the City of Hallowell.

About the Artist

Christopher Cart is a painter and print maker focusing mostly on figurative work.  A native Mainer his work is also flavored by years in Guadalajara, Mexico and Seattle, Washington.

In 2012, for his home town of Hallowell, he completed a commissioned portrait of Allen Strickland, a major donor to the Hubbard Free Library restoration fund.

In 2008 Cart completed a 8 x 32 foot mural for the Brunswick Trinidad Sister City Association.  The mural on the wall at 11 Pleasant St in Brunswick, entitled “A Dance of Two Cultures”, is a celebration of the cultural exchange between Brunswick, Maine and Trinidad, Cuba. 

Another recent major work is a 40 by 6 foot mural, a composition of color and movement with 22 almost life-sized dance figures showing strength in human form.  Throughout his career he has painted other murals, countless watercolors and oils, portraits in both oils and watercolors and illustrations for many books and periodicals. 

Christopher Cart studied art and art history at the University of Washington, Seattle and Coker College, South Carolina.  After leaving school he began selling his paintings and sculptures at several galleries in the Seattle area.  Now he is represented by galleries in his native New England region.

From the late 80’s and into the 90’s Cart illustrated six of the best selling Frugal Gourmet cookbooks and since that time he has created art for many other books and hundreds of illustrations for publications.  Most recently his work has been published as book covers for many classics of American literature, including Lydia Bailey and Northwest Passage.  And he is working on a fully illustrated edition of one of his personal favorites, Moby Dick by Melville.

In 2005 Cart was invited to contribute a portrait for the Portraits of Conscience exhibit sponsored by Amnesty International and the Lincoln Street Center.  This portrait was also part of a traveling exhibit.

Cart received the official commission for the portrait of Maine Chief Justice Daniel Wathen which was unveiled at a ceremony in the Superior Court in the State Capital in the spring of 2001.

Two paintings, a watercolor and an oil, were included in the Contemporary Realism Exhibit at the Centre for the Living Arts in Mobile, Alabama.

The Venezuelan Consulate on 5th Avenue, New York City hosted the Representing Reality exhibit which included three lyrical oil portraits from Cart’s series of young musicians.

Christopher Cart’s watercolor, “Sunday Walk” was featured in “The Art of Maine in Winter,” by art critics Carl Little and Arnold Skolnik, a book featuring many of Maine’s artists both old and contemporary.

Mountain-Storm by Chris Cart


Autumn Mountain, acrylic drawing on paper, 48 x 48 inches