Man with Hat Jennifer Hornyak

Oil On Canvas
16 × 16 inches
40.64 × 40.64 cm
Framed Size
21 × 21 inches
53.34 × 53.34 cm

Using layers of thick, expressive brushwork, solid colors and slightly flattened space, the artist has created an elegant portrait of a man in black shirt and white sun hat. The simple, modern forms outlined in black on an indigo ground emphasizes the stillness of the oil portrait on canvas that is reminiscent of the work of Jean Paul Lemieux. Hornyak's work also reveals the influence of the modern French Fauvist masters including Henri Matisse and Andre Derain. Dubbed "fauve" or wild beast by the media, these early 20th century painters were known for their vivid even potent colors and energetic brushwork. Equally, Hornyak's work takes inspiration from the German expressionist painters such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Die Brucke, the metaphoric "bridge". Like Kirchner's expressive later work, Hornyak's canvases may remind us of the impermanence of existence. Her restless approach to painting has meant a reworking of their oil surfaces over time, some of which are as thick as a centimetre. The quiet anonymity of the portrait thus becomes a testament to the human condition. Jennifer Hornyak was born in England where she studied at the Grimsby School of Art before coming to Canada in 1961. In Canada, she continued her studies at McGill University, the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal and the Centre Saidye Bronfman. Hornyak was invited to participate in the World Exhibition in Paris in 1987 along with Modigliani, Picasso and van Dongen. Her work has been exhibited throughout Europe and North America. Her portrait paintings were recently featured in a public exhibition in Montreal at the McClure Gallery for the Visual Arts. Hornyak's work is represented in many private and corporate collections. "We cannot reproduce nature, nor should we want to. All we can do is see and feel, and aim to transcend ourselves." Jennifer Hornyak

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