All Text Copyright 2006 and 2011 by Brian Carl Hart / All Rights Reserved
ALLAN HART 1945-2011
Biography & Art Education
Allan Hart (Jonah Hrvat is his Yugoslavian name) was born an identical twin
in Oak Park, Illinois in 1945. Oak Park is where Ernest Hemmingway was
born and raised and where Frank Lloyd Wright lived and built several
houses and a church.
Allan has been seriously and intensely drawing and painting with oils since
age three and age seven respectively (for over half a century) and painting
with acrylics since 1965. At age four, his mother, Harriet C. Hart, brought
Allan and his twin brother, Brian, into the Art Institute of Chicago and stood
them in front of great works of art. When the boys were five years old,
Harriet took their hands in her hands and taught them how to see and how to
draw. From age seven through age fourteen, she taught the boys how to paint
with oils. She also placed them in a Saturday morning oil painting class,
from age eight through age twelve, with Arthur Lloyd at the Oak Park-River
Forest Art League.
While in high school, Allan received summer scholarships at the Art
Institute of Chicago and at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of
Technology. After high school, Allan received scholarships from the
Institute of Design and at the Art Institute of Chicago. He attended the Art
Institute of Chicago for two years.
After two years at the Art Institute of Chicago (1963-64), Allan moved to Los
Angeles, California. In the 1960's and early 70's, his paintings were exhibited
in galleries and museums along side the art of Georgio de Chirico, Max Ernst,
Rene Magritte, Matta (Roberto Sebastian Matta Echaurren), Salvador Dali,
and other prominent artists.
Allan's paintings are in many prominent private collections in Los Angeles,
New York, Boston, England and Europe.
From 1974 to 1979, Allan was living and painting in Taos, New Mexico.
In 1979 he moved to Boston where the School of the Museum of Fine Arts
gave him grants and scholarships to study clay. During the three years at the
Museum School, Allan's studies and research included three years of
hand-building, throw-ing & glaze chemistry, three years of sculpture, three
years of drawing, two years of welding, six months of print making, and three
years of art history courses. Allan continued to paint in his studio at night
while going to school during the day. At the end of the three years (1981-83),
Allan was awarded a travel grant to go to China because of his clay
"dwellings" and architectural sculptures.
After the Museum School, Allan spent another year painting in Boston, followed by nine months of travel
across the United States visiting art museums and Anasazi ruins in the Southwest and 1 1/2 years painting
in Los Angeles before journeying to China. From May, 1986 to April, 1987, Allan traveled independently
After returning to the United States, Allan spent another four years painting in Boston and then in Taos,
New Mexico from 1991 until the present.
1945 Born an identical twin in Oak Park, Illinois
1950 Drawing lessons started with Harriet C. Hart
1951 Oil painting lessons started with Harriet C. Hart
1953-1957 Saturday morning oil painting classes with Arthur Lloyd at the
Oak Park-River Forest Art League (Scholarship Student)
1959-1963 Oak Park-River Forest High School (In the first two years Allan
took every art course the school had to offer, so, the faculty created
an oil oil painting class for the Hart Brothers for the remaining two
1959-1963 Saturday and summer Scholarship Student at the Art Institute
of Chicago and the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute
1963-1965 Scholarship Student at the Art Institute of Chicago
1965-1973 Living and painting in Los Angeles, California
1973-1974 Living in Santa Barbara, California
1974-1975 Living and paining in Nashville, Tennessee
1975-1980 Living and painting in Taos, New Mexico
1980-1984 Living and painting in Boston, Massachusetts
1981-1983 Received grants and scholarships at the School of the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
1982 Received scholarship to study clay with Imre Schrammel
from Hungary at Haystack Mountain School of Arts and Crafts
on Deer Isle., Maine
1983-1984 Spent 9 1/2 months viewing every Old Master drawing in
the collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge,
1984 Traveling across the United States visiting art museums
and Anasazi ruins
1984-1986 Living and painting in Los Angeles, California
1986-1987 Independent travel in mainland China
1987-1991 Living and painting in Boston, Massachusetts
1991-2010 Living and painting in Taos, New Mexico
Statements about the Paintings
In the i960's, I started painting images from my memory and imagination. I also
painted some portraits from old black & white 19th century photographs. I then
decided to stop using photographs and started painting out of my subconscious and
from my dreams. I made a conscious decision to not look in any art book and also to
not go into any art gallery or art museum. This is when my paintings became me.
The self-portraits are primarily exercises in self observation and self-analysis.
The still-lifes were created to exercise disciplines & techniques and to sharpen my
landscapes are alla prima 'oil sketches' (created at one standing, on
location) and are also exercises
The paintings listed under "Other" were created from my memory & imagination or out of my subconscious, or from my dreams.
My purpose in attending art schools was not to obtain a "degree", but to learn as
many techniques and disciplines as possible so that I would have a vehicle to express
my own vision. The quality of my work and art speaks for itself.
The title 'artist' is bestowed upon a person by other people and it is hard-earned.
Anyone can call him/herself an 'artist', and thousands do (Probably millions!). So
what! It takes decades, if not a life-time, to become a very good 'artist'.
" Everyone is an 'artist'". This myth was promoted and perpetuated in the 1960's or
70's and continues to this day. An 'artist' is a person who creates with all of his or her
heart, with love, and beauty. I believe that every person has the seed of an 'artist'
within, but, that seed needs to be nourished with disciplines and techniques,
throughout a life time of acquired skills and craft and hard work. I've seen 'artists'
mopping floors, washing dishes, building structures, dancing, and numerous other
things. It is not what one does that makes a person an 'artist' (and certainly not by
calling oneself an 'artist'), but how one executes the work.
Being an 'artist' has nothing to do with trends and fads, nor does it have anything to
do with what anyone else thinks or wants. Being an 'artist' has nothing to do with the
so-called 'art scene', the art market, the art syndicate, nor what the galleries and
dealers want. Being an 'artist'' has to do with erupting from one's soul in the most
beautiful way possible.
Next to all the 'great' painters in the history of the world, from Lascaux to Picasso
(There haven't been many since!), my paintings are mediocre, but, next to some of
the stuff being called 'art' now days, my paintings are beyond mediocre.
For several decades, I've said: "I've only created two 'great' paintings in my life: 'Man
Leaving Is Man Arriving' (first image,#18) and 'Laurel Canyon
Dream'." (second image, #28 & #29).
My twin brother says: "Allan, you are not the best judge of your work." Well, that's
I see a
canvas as a window to infinity. Anything can appear on the picture plane: images from
the subconscious, images from dreams, visions, or images from any dimension. All is
I believe that the green of this page comes from my childhood memories of my
mother's delicious split-pea (with smoked butt) soup.
|All Text ©Copyright 2006 and 2012 by Brian Carl Hart / All Rights Reserved
Statements about Art
'Art' is one of my most beloved subjects to study and write and talk about.
Orson Wells was asked "What is 'freedom'?", he responded with: " 'Freedom' is having
the right to tell people what they don't want to hear." So, here it comes!
So-called 'post-modernism' is a phony term if I ever heard one. That I knew from day
one! Who the hell coined that one!? Mostly talentless 'pseudo-artists' grabbed on to
the term and use it to define anyone who can't draw or paint, or, "couldn't draw their
way out of a paper bag!" (B.C.H.)
'Art' is a very subjective term. The definition of 'quality' can also be very subjective,
but, there exists also a very objective definition of what 'quality' is. 'Quality' is like
this: There are two pairs of shoes. They appear to be nearly identical. One is very well
made and will last nearly a life time and the other is poorly made and will not last
very long. Observing both pairs of shoes, anyone with half a brain can determine
which pair of shoes has the 'quality'. So with 'art', by observing, scrutinizing, and
seriously studying 'art', from Lascaux to Picasso, by studying the 'old masters', and
'contemporary art', and by comparing the visual elements and craft of each work of
art, one can easily discern between excellent techniques & disciplines, skill, craft and
expertise used to create the 'good art' and the mediocre 'art' and crap being passed off
as 'art'. It takes decades (at least three or four decades, not just three or four years in
some academic environment), to know the difference. And, the difference between
'quality' and 'great art' and mediocre 'art' and crap must be stated and not washed
over with some 'art speak', 'mumbo jumbo', or rhetorical nonsense.
Good drawing' is a good foundation for good painting. Whenever I look at any paint-
ing, I can immediately discern whether or not the person who painted the painting
(notice that I did not use the word 'artist' - just because someone paints, does not
make them an 'artist'; any chimpanzee can pick up a brush!) can or can not draw. It is
quite obvious. If it is a figurative drawing or painting, I always look at the hands or
feet. That is always a 'dead give-a-way' and the true test of a 'draughtsman'. If the
author cannot draw hands or feet, it is very obvious. The hands are either poorly
drawn, or they look like 'Mickey Mouse' gloves, or they are smeared to hide the fact
that he or she cannot draw, and the feet look like baked potatoes (R.C. Gorman is a
good example), or, the hands or feet are not even in the picture. Eliminating them
altogether is a sure sign of incompetance.
The reason why so many painters, 'artists', or 'pseudo-artists' cannot draw hands or
feet, is because they never learned how to draw in the first place. Either they never
had a teacher who taught them how to draw hands or feet (or anything else for that
matter!) and, or, their teacher didn't know how to or never even learned how to draw
them either. Either the tradition of 'good draughtsmanship' continues or it doesn't
exist at all. The centuries old tradition of master/apprentice/student having been
broken, thrown out the window along with disciplines, techniques, craftsmanship,
skill, and quality, which all contribute to the creation of 'good drawing', 'good
painting', and 'quality art', is no longer.
Every art school in North America perpetuates the illusion that all you need to do is
"jump in the paint pot"; you don't have to learn how to draw, just "jump in the paint
pot", 'squish & mush' around and you're an 'artist'. BULL SHIT! Just look at the 'GOD
awful crap' that they're calling 'art' now days and what is being passed off as 'art'.
The so-called 'post-modernists' (Now there is a phony term if I ever heard one!)
started to "pull the wool over everyone's eyes" in the 1980s. The first thing they did
was grab onto the term 'draughtsman' and change the spelling to 'draftsman'. The
term 'draughtsman' - that's D...R...A...U...G...H...T...S...M...A...N, not 'd..r..a..f..t..s..
m..a..n' - had been used for over five hundred (500) years to denote a person who
drew well and prolifically. Have you ever seen a 'post-modernist' head? - the most
"GOD awful" crap! "They (meaning the so-called 'post-modernists') couldn't draw
their way out of a paper bag!" (B.C.H.)
Whenever I think of 'good drawing', 'good draughtsmanship', or, just 'draughts-
manship', I immediately think of Antoine Watteau, Lagnau, Callot, Greuze, Lautrec,
Jacob de Gheyn, Hubert Robert, Ingres, Claude Lorrain, Chardin, Georges de LaTour, Quentin LaTour, Fantin LaTour,
Bordone, Raphael Sanzio, Cambiaso, Parmigianino, Pontormo, Becafumi, Botticelli, Donatello (All 'great' sculptors
learned how to draw before they even picked up a chisel!), Primaticio, Leonardo da Vinci, (All 'great painters' learned
how to draw before they even picked up a paint brush, let alone "jump into the paint pot"!), Bronzino, Jan Bruegel the
Elder, Jan Bruegel the Younger, Hieronimus Bosch, Hans Memling, Peter Paul Rubens, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer,
Altdorfer, Urs Graf, Melendez, Velazquez, Picasso, Dali, Zuolaga, and many,many, many more. I could name
hundreds. The age of the 'draughtsman' is over. There are no more 'draughtsmen' (Possibly a few.), let alone 'great
draughtsmen'. When the centuries old tradition of master/apprentice ended in the nineteenth century, it broke the
chain of teaching from 'master' to apprentice. There are definitely no more 'masters' ('draughtsmen' or painters)
today. I am unable to name any, not even one! Can you? If you can, that would be debatable, very
I have been seriously and intensely drawing and painting since age three and age five (oil painting since age seven) - for
over half a century. I have been viewing and studying 'old masters' drawings since age three (with my mother, Harriet
Heinerwadel Ceglery Hrvat Hart) in the Art Institute of Chicago, in other art museums across the United States, in
private collections from coast to coast, and have been intensely researching and studying drawings and paintings, from
Lascaux to Picasso (Also for over half a century). Next to all the great 'draughtsmen' from Lascaux to Picasso, my
drawings are mediocre, but, next to some of Picasso's drawings and next to the 'scribbles and scratches' that are being
'passed off ' as drawings now days, my drawings are above mediocre! These are my 'credentials'. Need I need any more?!
Text ©Copyright 2006 and 2011 by Brian Carl Hart/All Rights Reserved
LOVE of my life"! Ever since I was a little boy, since my Dear Mother brought my twin
brother and me into the Art Institute of Chicago and stood us in front of 'great
paintings', 'old master drawings', great sculpture, oriental ceramics (Chinese,
Korean, Japanese), and all the decorative arts, I have been in love with all 'great art',
as long as it is instilled with quality, no matter what part of the world it's origins are.
Everyone is effected by 'great painting'. Most people know when they are standing in front of a 'great painting', unless he,
or she, has been fooled into believing that slop- py painting ("squish & mush" and "splash & dash") is 'great painting' and
that the so-called 'post- modernists' are great painters. Then, the 'brainwashed' and the de- luded are outside knowing
what 'great painting'
A 'great painting' is a 'great painting' when it sits on the easel, before anyone else sees it. A painting by Rembrandt
Harmensz van Rjin was a 'great painting' as it sat on the master's easel, before anyone else saw the masterpiece. That is
not debatable or arguable. What is done is done. (As in painting in the atelier, so with baking in the oven - a masterpiece
of pastry making is also a great work of art as it bakes in the oven even before the pastry chef opens the oven door!)
I do not know of any 'great painters' today. Someone asked me to name anyone who I
considered to be a 'great painter' living today. I could not think of one! There are
many so-called 'good painters' alive today, but, not one 'great painter' who I can think
of, and, I certainly do not consider myself a 'great painter'. Good, yes, but not great.
All 'great painters' were born to be 'great painters'. It is something 'gifted', in the
genes, in the make up of the artist's soul, something learned from a past life or past
lives: it is ordained before all time. Of course, it takes learning and a good teacher
who passes on the disciplines and techniques to the aprenitce/student, and hard
work to remember or become a 'great artist', but, it is already there, innate, in the
blood, in the genes. The real, and 'true artist', emerges out of him/herself, to reveal
what is already there. An 'artist' is.
The sooner and the earlier one remembers or locates the gift within, the seed of an
'artist', the sooner that talent within is revealed to the world. There are also many
natural helpers along the way (As an example, my Dear Mother, who nourished her
four sons) who make the flowering of the 'artist' an easier or quicker revelation to the
'artist' and to the world.
there is Vincent van Gogh. A strange case indeed! Vincent struggled. He had many
obstacles. Was he really the tortured soul that he has been made out to be? I do not
know because I was not there; I did not know the man. From his letters to his brother,
Theo, we get a clearer picture of the man. Vincent van Gogh was a 'great writer', as
well as a 'great painter'. He either remembered his calling or 'gift' latter in his life
(Within the last ten yeas of the man's life, he painted over eight hundred paintings!),
or there were just too many obstacles or too much interference and demands in life
that prevented him from revealing himself as an 'artist' early in his life. The whole
world is definitely richer because he finally did pick up the paint brush. Now, nearly
everyone calls him/herself an 'artist' (mostly self-proclaimed!), and now thousands, if
not millions of people just "jump in the paint pot", and SPLASH!...they're an 'artist'!
How ironic, how catasrophic, how sad. Enough said.
All Text ©Copyright 2006 and 2011 by Brian Carl Hart/All Rights Reserved
Statements by Allan Hart