Paul Hannon (b. 1952) is an American born artist, who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he paints urban and coastal scenes of Atlantic Canada. His upcoming solo exhibition at Courthouse Gallery will be the first time Hannon’s paintings have been exhibited in Maine, and a selection of both genres will be on view.
Hannon’s primary interest lies in the observation of light and its influence on form within the landscape. He responds to low-angled, northern light with long, deep shadows, and the depiction of this light plays a critical role in creating the mood of his narrative urban portraits. Hannon cites Edward Hopper as a significant influence, and his painting practice follows the tradition of the Ashcan School of Art, an art movement best know for a style of oil painting that portrayed the realism of everyday life in New York.
Following in this tradition, Hannon uses the familiar urban landscape where he lives in Halifax as the backdrop for his motifs. Although his cityscapes depict how small city Atlantic Canada looks and feels upon entering the twenty-first century, much of the Halifax architecture Hannon chooses to paint is reminiscent of a mid-twentieth century experience familiar to many Americans with mom and pop corner stores like Sarah’s Street at Dusk and Waiting, and drive-in diners blazing with neon signs like Restaurant Night.
All of Hannon’s paintings, urban or coastal, are connected through a common concern for the exploration of light and its effects on form and color—either early morning, or just after dusk when low-angled light evokes a warm glow across land and water. His coastal scenes use a more naturalistic approach to the dipiction of light, one that illuminates the rugged and rocky Atlantic coast, similar to the Maine coast, and the fishing shacks and boats that inhabit the seaside villages. Hannon uses his imagination to create coastal scenes like Dawn at the Cove and Bay in Light by drawing the elements within a scene and then re-assembling them into a pictorial composition infused color and light.
Hannon studied studio art at State University of New York, Oswego, with Anna Wong at Pratt Graphics, and studio painting with Elaine de Kooning. His work is in numerous public, private, and corporate collections.