KEVIN CHARLES (PRO) HART (1928-2006)
KEVIN CHARLES (PRO) HART (1928-2006)
KEVIN CHARLES (PRO) HART (1928-2006)
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KEVIN CHARLES (PRO) HART (1928-2006)
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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIR KEITH AND LADY SHOWERING
KEVIN CHARLES (PRO) HART (1928-2006)

Mining Town; Enclosure

Details
KEVIN CHARLES (PRO) HART (1928-2006)
Hart, K.C. (Pro)
Mining Town; Enclosure
signed and dated 'PRO/HART/69' (lower right); signed and dated 'PRO/HART/69' (lower centre)
oil on board
each 24 x 48 in. (61 x 121.9 cm.)(2)
Painted in 1969.
Provenance
with Barry Stern Galleries, Australia, where purchased by the present owners in January 1970.

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Lot Essay

Born in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Kevin ‘Pro’ Hart is often hailed as a pioneer of the Australian Outback painting movement. Raised on a sheep farm in Menindee, he earned the nickname ‘Professor’ due to his passion for explosive inventions. At the age of 19, Hart began working at North Broken Hill Consolidated Mine where he balanced long shifts underground with painting during his spare time. It was during his stint as a miner that Hart developed a profound commitment to portraying the harsh realities of both labouring and life in general at that time through art. Continually refining his technique through taking art classes, he garnered attention from gallery owner Kim Bonython in 1962 and (when his earnings increased) at the age of 39, he transitioned to painting full-time.

Renowned as the ‘working man's artist’, Kevin ‘Pro’ Hart produced tens of thousands of images using oil or acrylic, employing various techniques such as layering, chiaroscuro, glazing, scumbling, scratching, and Alla prima. Known for inventive techniques like ‘cannon’ and ‘balloon painting’ (even incorporating his own DNA as a mark of authenticity into his works), Hart was likewise an accomplished sculptor, working with welded steel, bronze, and ceramics. Collections of his work consistently sold out and he garnered international recognition: over the years, ‘Pro’ Hart met dignitaries, including Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers, with his art finding a place in prominent global collections.

As a member of the ‘Brushmen of the Bush’, a charitable group of five artists, he exhibited extensively worldwide and over the course of his career received numerous accolades including becoming a MBE in 1976, achieving an Honorary Life Membership of Society International Artistique in 1982, and accepting an Australian Citizen of the Year Award in 1983 – a recognition bestowed upon only one artist per continent.

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