Tiny Edward Hopper artworks hang on walls inside the architectural paintings of Canadian artist Peter D Harris.
Hopper’s urban scenes are housed within deliberately banal buildings, mimicking the architecture that proliferates our modern cities. The series Evening with Hopper also features works by other artistic forebears, including Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris.
‘Having their work within my own work poses a question to the viewer: is being in the city still a lonely and isolating experience?’ says Peter D Harris. ‘Or do people come to a painting enjoying modern urban life?’
It’s no coincidence that this playful dialogue – like most philosophical conversations – takes place at night.
‘I’ve always been interested in urban spaces that aren’t meant for long term interaction, but which we inadvertently spend much of our time in,’ says Harris. In his 12 new paintings, these ‘between spaces’ – lobbies, waiting rooms and elevators – take on a starring role when empty of human inhabitants.
‘What’s interesting is that many people look at my paintings, and tell me where they think [the building] is… It feels so familiar to them,’ Harris says. Though drawn from real life, his compositions are deliberately stripped of geographical markers such as street names or road signs: ‘I’m looking for commonalities in the urban landscape rather than signifiers.’ The result is a bewildering sense of familiarity.
‘Evening with Hopper’ by Peter D Harris runs at Toronto’s Mira Godard Gallery from 29 April – 27 May 2017