Jen­ny Wat­son, The Fab­ric of Fantasy

JEN­NY WAT­SON: THE FAB­RIC OF FANTASY
5 July — 2 Octo­ber 2017 
Jen­ny Wat­son is a lead­ing Aus­tralian artist whose con­cep­tu­al paint­ing prac­tice spans more than four decades. Curat­ed by MCA Cura­tor Anna Davis this sur­vey exhi­bi­tion fea­tures works from the 1970s to the present, includ­ing exam­ples of Watson’s ear­ly real­ist paint­ings and draw­ings, and a num­ber of key series of works on fab­ric. Inspired by both punk and fem­i­nism, Watson’s work uses dis­tilled imagery and abbre­vi­at­ed text to cre­ate an inti­mate inte­ri­or world. She has trav­elled wide­ly since the 1970s and employs tex­tiles col­lect­ed on her trav­els as the sur­face for many of her paint­ings, which also often include col­laged mate­ri­als such as images from mag­a­zines, horse’s hair, rib­bons, bows and sequins. Many of Watson’s works fea­ture self-por­traits and alter egos, a cast of long­haired women, hors­es, bal­leri­nas, rock gui­tarists and cats, who enact life’s ongo­ing psy­chodra­mas. Inter­twin­ing auto­bi­og­ra­phy and fic­tion, her work incor­po­rates a diary-like voice that is deliv­ered with dead­pan wit and seems to relay the every­day expe­ri­ences, dreams and desires of a self-pro­claimed sub­ur­ban girl. The rela­tion­ship between text and image is cen­tral to her work, which fre­quent­ly includes a small pan­el of hand paint­ed text that sits along­side a larg­er image, under­cut­ting or chang­ing its mean­ing.”

-Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art Aus­tralia, Sydney

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