In the Belgian artist Harold Ancart’s rich new body of work, he turns an immersive landscape of trees, mountains, and seas into a meditation on painting itself.
Harold Ancart often paints subjects that naturally invite contemplation, such as the horizon, clouds, flowers, flames, and icebergs, subtly highlighting the issue of climate change. His newest body of work captures the experience of landscape seen in motion or from a distance: trees blurred while driving past, an inky-black sea seen from a distance, an evocative Martian mountain range. Recalling René Magritte, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Piet Mondrian, who approached this subject matter in distinct ways, Ancart blurs form and color, figure and ground, and figuration and abstraction.
Reproduced here in magnificent foldouts, two multipanel canvases situate the viewer between a mountainscape and a seascape, both monumental in scale. Ancart segments the seascape with a stark horizon line, dividing sky and ocean. Like other comparable motifs within the artist's oeuvre, the vividly colored cloudy sky functions in an anthropomorphic way, alluding to the endless possibilities and personalities of organic forms.
Including an interview with Bob Nickas, this catalogue offers insight into Ancart’s frank reflections on painting, writing, nature, and more. The publication also features a new essay by Laura McLean-Ferris. Taken together, the works in Harold Ancart: Traveling Light meditate on the expansive possibilities of painting.