Pro Hart

One of Australia’s most recognised and beloved artists, Pro’s paintings have won world acclaim, with his highly individualistic and semi-primitive style depicting scenes typical of the Australian outback.

Pro worked in oils and water colours with both brush and pallet knife, using vivid colours true to the vastness of the outback with its harsh yet beautiful landscape and mining towns in the region in which he grew up.

For all admirers, collectors and owners of Pro Hart artworks, we have some exceptional and iconic paintings on sale over the summer holiday season.

Biography

Pro (Kevin Charles) Hart is one of Australia’s most popular and controversial artists and most loved and colourful characters.  Considered the father of the Australian Outback painting movement, his works are widely admired for capturing the true spirit of the outback.

Pro’s early years were spent on the family sheep property “Larloona Station”, near Menindee, NSW. Pro’s first real brush with art was at a young age when correspondence school lessons and school-of-the air was thrust upon his carefree young life.  Always able to sketch and paint at the age of seven years Pro started to illustrate his school essays – often in preference to writing them. Purely self-taught with no formal art training, the distinctive Pro Hart Australian style began to emerge.

Pro's family moved to Broken Hill in 1940 so he and his brother Bob could attend Marist Brothers College. Completing his education, he started work in the mines and after a twelve hour shift painted long into the night and weekends.  This period in Pro’s life forged a strong Christian spirit and his compassion for the 'ordinary folk '.  The time underground instilled in him a deep passion to record in his art the realities and harshness not only of a miner’s lot but life in general.  With this interesting background it is no wonder that his art reflects the true character of Australia and Australians.

In 1962 he was discovered by Kym Bonython, a highly respected a gallery director in Adelaide.  As a result of his first exhibition, the Pro Hart legend was born. Since that time Pro developed a highly individualistic semi-primitive style, depicting scenes typical of the Australian outback.

Working in oils and water colours with both brush and pallet knife, and using vivid colours true to the harshness of the outback, his paintings have won world acclaim.

Pro Hart’s paintings depict the vastness of the outback with its harsh yet beautiful landscape and sheep stations from where he grew up. Pro loved to find comedy in outback events such as the country Race Meetings and the huge family picnics in the dried up creek beds.  His quirky insect series became famous when millions saw the cleaning lady on television throwing up her hands and saying ‘Oh Mr Hart, what a mess!’ after Pro had turned the Du Pont carpet into a canvas and transformed the food mess into a gorgeous dragonfly.

In recognition of his outstanding service to art, in 1976 Pro Hart was awarded the distinction, Member of the British Empire and more recently admitted to the Order of St John as a Serving Brother by Her Majesty the Queen of England.  In 1982 he received an Honorary Life Membership of Society International Artistique for outstanding artistic achievement. This award is granted to only one artist per continent.  In 1983 he received an Australian Citizen of the Year Award.   Pro was given a state funeral and it was evident that he was truly a remarkable Australian, loved and remembered for his contribution to the Australian art scene and to the community.

Pro was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in December 2005 which is a progressive fatal condition that causes muscles to weaken and waste.  On Tuesday, 28 March 2006, Pro Hart passed away peacefully in his home town of Broken Hill at the age of 77 surrounded by his wife and children.  He was given a state funeral and it was evident that he was truly a remarkable Australian, loved and remembered for his contribution to the Australian art scene and to the community.

Pro’s paintings now hang in the Art Galleries of NSW and SA, the Mertz Collection and the White House Collection in the U.S.A., Buckingham Palace, London, as well as innumerable private collections in Australia and all over the world.

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Showing 1–12 of 26 results