Jenny Watson secures Melbourne survey show - Art Collector

12 September 2011 | Painter Jenny Watson has been selected for survey next year at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne.

The exhibition,
Here, there and everywhere, will be the first career survey since the 1980s. It will feature more than 90 works relating to her extensive international career. Many have never before been exhibited in Australia.

Watson has travelled regularly since the mid 1970s throughout Europe and the USA, as well as India, Japan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Her artwork has also been extensively exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale in 1993 when Watson was selected to represent Australia.

The survey traces the themes that have shaped Watson’s studio practice, including internationalism, cosmopolitanism, locality and national identity.

Exhibition curator and director of the Potter, Dr Chris McAuliffe says Watson is an influential figure in recent Australian art.

“Her work reflects on key themes in Australian art. Aspiring to international success, Australian artists rail against distance and isolation. Once abroad, they can feel separated from their roots, and sense a conflict between local and international identity. Globalism has positive and negative effects; a cosmopolitan artist roams the world freely but an expatriate can feel isolated and homeless,” says McAuliffe.

“Watson’s art frequently turns on the personal and psychological states triggered by travel, ambition, professional practice and personal life. [It] engages with these narratives in a knowing, playful and often critical sense. Her art is both a personal diary and a commentary on the machinations of the art world."

Here, there and everywhere runs from 12 January to 18 April 2012 at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne.

Jane O'Sullivan

Above: Jenny Watson, Self portrait, Kings Road, London 1966, 1986. Acrylic and gouache on brown paper.Collection of the MCA, Sydney. Courtesy: the artist

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