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Alison Watt: A Shadow on the Blind

Friday 24 May 2019Saturday 13 July 2019

Still-life paintings by contemporary artist Alison Watt (b. 1965). The works are partly-inspired by Thomas Warrender's trompe-l’oeil Still Life (1708), part of the Scottish National Gallery collection, as well as by the photographs of Margaret Watkins, a Scottish-Canadian artist known primarily for her work in American advertising in the 1920s and 1930s.

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Alison Watt | painting | still life


18 Woodstock Street, Mayfair
London W1C 2AL

phone 020 7495 1969
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Alison Watt, 'Cartellino' (2017). Oil on canvas, 152.4 × 152.4 cm. — Alison Watt’s new works, first shown last year at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, constitute an interrogation of the genre of still life. The starting point for this body of work was an extended meditation upon Thomas Warrender’s 'Still Life' (1708) in the Scottish National Gallery, a trompe-l’oeil depiction of a letter rack and the only known oil painting by the artist. Many of the objects that appear in Warrender’s painting, such as feathers, envelopes and folded pieces of paper, reappear in Watt’s paintings but are rendered strange by being located in a neutral space. While Watt’s paintings appear at first to be monochrome, close inspection reveals them to be full of profoundly delicate modulations of colour and light, articulated through her carefully worked surfaces. In her paintings, the sheets of paper are blank, as if awaiting a message, or as if the writing they once bore has been erased. The envelopes, which carry letters, bear no addresses. In art history feathers are often associated with freedom or heightened spirituality, but they are also cut into quills, instruments of communication. — 'A Shadow on the Blind' opens at Parafin next week with a private view on Thursday 23 May, from 6-8pm. All welcome. — Photo: John McKenzie #pfn #parafin #parafinlondon #parafingallery #alisonwatt #ashadowontheblind #cartellino #stilllife #quodlibet #thomaswarrender #scottishnationalgallery #monochrome #oiloncanvas #trompeloeil #ablankpage #ablankcanvas #abbothall

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