John Hartman (1950– ) is a Canadian painter whose work blends figurative, narrative, and landscape paintings. His artistic reputation began with the exhibition Painting the Bay, 1993, at the McMichael Canadian Collection. This included large-scale paintings of the Georgian Bay, aerial views of the landscape painted with thick layers of paint. However, it was with the release of the book Big North: the paintings of John Hartman, 1999, and anationally touring exhibition between 1999 and 2002 that Hartman gained national attention.
Hartman was born in Midland, Ontario, and studied Fine Art at McMaster University in Hamilton, from which he graduated in 1973. After graduation, he continued his studies and enrolled in courses led by instructor George Wallace who was enthusiastic about German Expressionism. Hartman was heavily influenced by David Blackwood, whom he had met when he attended Camp Hurontario, and the poet Douglas LePan, John’s friend and mentor.
Hartman’s path of painting the personal and intertwined relationship between people and places took a new twist in 2003 when he began to paint aerial views of cities as living organisms. These paintings comprised the exhibition Cities, 2007, which toured internationally from 2007 to 2009. Hartman is a member of the RCA. In 2020, he also received the Order of Canada for his contribution to Canadian painting. His works are held in the collections of many public galleries, including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg; Museum London, Ontario; the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa; and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.