Jenny Watson


Born 1951 in Melbourne, Jenny Watson was inspired by the early works of US-American concept artist Joseph Kosuth and began examining the problems of sensual perception – of reality, identity, and the definition of an object – in early 1970. Since 1993 at the latest, when she represented her nation at the Biennale in Venice, Watson has been one of the internationally most well-known artists of the Australian continent. The distinctive aspect of her work is the combination of painting, text, and objects, as well as the interaction of humor, irony, and simple yet striking subjects. Using the simplest of components – unprimed textiles, figures left in aesthetic rudiments, and short hand-written texts – Watson creates complex stories from her figurative images, which on the one hand provide a feminist and social critique and, on the other, always allow diary-like personal insights on her life and can be interpreted as being self-referential.

The works on display are paintings and text panels, although the text and image seem to be joined only visually. The paintings do not illustrate the writing, and the writing does not explain the images. Text and image diverge as far as possible in Watson’s work. Watson is familiar with the great works of concept art, and strives to integrate more banal and personal aspects of the everyday into her art.