Kim Hart venice work | portrait work

Artist's Statement
Kim Hart (formerly Beer) trained in South Africa at the Technikon Witwatersrand and won the Ashley and Radmore prize for outstanding achievement in painting. Since moving to London in 1995 she has participated in numerous exhibitions and accepted many portrait commissions. Former clients include Lesley Garrett, Meera Syal and the BBC, Rollo Armstrong of Faithless, and Richard Dillane.

In 2001 Kim appeared in a pilot TV show for BBC1 entitled 'Painting Stars' and was chosen to participate in an exhibition of British Figurative Painting in Munich, Germany.

Kim Hart recently featured in the popular BBC 1 TV series 'Star Portraits with Rolf Harris' . She has subsequently taken part in the accompanying exhibition at the New Art Gallery, Walsall, where she was invited to give a talk about the approach and processes she uses to create her paintings. She has contributed to numerous publications.

selected exhibitions
2007 Arte Daniela Luchetta, Venice
2007 Ghetto Vecchio, Venice
2007 Galleria Perela, Venice
2006 Studio Bressanello, Venice
2005 County Hall Gallery, London
2005 New Walk Museum, Leicester
2005 Naughton Gallery, Belfast
2004 Star Portraits, New Art Gallery, Walsall
2002 Britart Gallery
2002 Metro New Media
2002 British Figurative Painting, Munich
2001 Portraits, East West Gallery, London W11
2001 Portraits, New Academy Gallery, London W1
1999 Face Facts, The Artists Gallery, London
1999 Critical Viewing, The Alchemy Gallery, London, EC1
1999 Untitled, Drury Lane Gallery, London, WC2
1998 Empathy and Resolution, Changing Room Gallery, London
1996 Tyranny and Conflict, Coventry Gallery, London, EC1
1996 New Year New Art, Coventry Gallery, London, EC1
1995 Pleasures Unbound, Coventry Gallery, London, EC1
1994 Recent Graduates, The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, S.A.
1994 Recent Graduates, The Factory, Johannesburg, S.A.

awards
1994 Ashley and Radmore prize for outstanding achievement in painting


concepts, ideas and themes
Kim Hart is currently making paintings on canvas, using acrylics. While the work could easily and happily fall into place within the tradition of portrait painting with regard to western notions of such a discipline, there are idiosyncrasies to be found that subvert certain orthodoxies.

By focusing on the vulnerable and exposed qualities manifest in the subject, the intention is to draw the audience closer and elicit an empathetic and, if possible, a sympathetic response.

In direct contradistinction to the dispassionate stance of the Post Modern, Kim Hart intends to involve and discomfort the viewer, to the extent that looking becomes an emotional strain. If the audience is initially knocked slightly off balance and cut loose from the emotional safety that the ironic arguably affords, then this is further aggravated by the physical scale of the work.

The use of large canvases is deliberate for another reason. Because of their size, the portraits work on a representational level at a remove from the canvas, but on closer inspection, the image echoes the qualities possessed by the eye and the camera for zooming in on the subject to the degree that it is rendered indefinable. This parallels Kim's concern with the relationship between the flesh and the self and continues to be a significant factor in the development of her approach to making portraits.

In addition, employing a white or unpainted and therefore neutral ground, the work attempts to get to grips with the respective qualities of the mug shot and photo - booth snap, both universally familiar but defying any specific interpretation. In this rejection of the use of visual props and the accompanying symbolism, subtext and context, the artist forces the audience into a position of responsibility and accountability with regard to the old favourite, no man is an island.

It is possibly this unflinching documentation of truth that defines Kim Hart's work.

That it is characterised by sympathy but not overarching sentiment.

Download Kim's CV