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Biography - Jenny Watson

Jenny Watson

photo by Sarah Baetens, January 2010 in MUKA printstudio, New Sealand

Jenny Watson had her first exhibition at Chapman Powell Street Gallery Melbourne in 1973 and lived in London, Paris and New York for different periods between 1975–79.
Watson has taken a number of stylistic approaches to her painting, incorporating language and text and a range of different materials and fabrics, such as velvet and collaged elements. Her subject matter has always tended towards the autobiographical. After her 1976–77 Houses series, in which she painted her childhood homes, Watson moved from the exterior world to the interior world with her 1981 work Dream Palette. Based on her dream journal, Watson assembled images and texts on 36 small canvas boards.
Watson has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Chronicles, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane (2016); Birds, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2014); Here, There, and Everywhere, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012); Layerings, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2012); Other Lives, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2012); Striped Paintings and Undercover, Gimpel Fils, London (2011); Five Paintings about a Mobile Phone, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide (2011); Jenny Watson, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium (2010); Material Evidence: Jenny Watson, Works on Fabric 1981–2005, Kunstverein Rosenheim (2009); American Idyll, Galerie Transit, Mechelen, Belgium (2009); Walking the Dog, Malkasten, Düsseldorf (2008); and Star Material, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2007).
Selected group exhibitions include Solitaire, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Victoria (2014); Mix Tape 1980s: Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); Contemporary Australia: Women, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); PICA Salon, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth (2011); We Call Them Pirates Out Here, MCA, Sydney (2010); The Brisbane Sound, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008); and the National Artist’s Self-Portrait Prize, University of Queensland, Brisbane (2007).
Watson’s work is held in major state and regional galleries in Australia and in a number of overseas collections, including Yokohama Museum, Japan; Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan; Ulmer Museum, Germany; and Vienna Academy of Arts and Craft, Vienna.

Jenny Watson

1951                                                              Born in Melbourne, Australia
1972                                                              Diploma of Painting, National Gallery of Victoria Art School
1973                                                              Diploma of Education, State College of Victoria, Melbourne
2002 –  now                                                 Adjunct Professor, QCA, Griffith University 

Solo Exhibitions

Aperçu, galerie Transit Mechelen
Six new works and the Patricia paintings, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Fringe, Museum Dhondt-Dhanens, Deurle

Peripheral Vision, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney 

Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy (touring), Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Heide Musuem of Modern Art, Melbourne
Other Lives, Galerie Straihammer and Seidenschwann, Vienna, Austria 
Buffaloes, Gangurinn/ The Corridor, Reykjavik, Iceland

Just a Girl, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Chronicles, QCA Gallery, Brisbane

Fabrications, Anna Schwartz Gallery

Birds, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Garden of Eden and Child’s Play, Galerie Transit, Belgium
I woke up in France, Greenaway Gallery, Adelaide


Here, There and Everywhere, Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, Australia,18 January- 8 April 2012 + catalogue
Text-Bild-Konzepte. Milovan Markovic, Pavel Pepperstein, Viktor Pivovarov, Jenny Watson, Stadtgalerie Mannheim ,Germany, 03.02- 25.03.2012+ catalogue
“other lives”, 8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, October 3 – 22

Striped Paintings and Undercover – Gimpel Fils, London (UK)
Jenny Watson – Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, SA

The Daisy Show – Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Jenny Watson / Fia Cielen, CIAP Hasselt, Belgium

American Idyll, Galerie Transit, Mechelen
Material Evidence, Kunsthalle Rosenheim
Kunsthalle Krems, artist in residence & exhibition

‘Vintage Paintings’, Transit Mechelen 

Material Evidence: Jenny Watson Works on Fabric 1981 – 2005, Queensland College of Art Griffith University, Queensland
Child’s Play Paintings, Galerie Gaby Kraushaar, Dusseldorf
Child’s Play II, Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
Angels, Mrs Peel, Maybelline and a Long Night of the Soul, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Made in Perth, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Jewels, Anna Schwartz Gallery & Margaret Moore, Perth
Doll House, IASKA, Kellerberrin, Western Australia
Jenny Watson: Girls, Gimpel Fils, London, UK
ARCO, Madrid (Anna Schwartz Gallery), Spain
Australian Artist in a Bar in New York in the Year 2016, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne
Bolgna Art Fair, Giordano Raffaelli, Trento, Italy
Shrinksville, Galerie Transit, Belgium
Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Shelf life, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Wild East, Galerie Gaby Kraushaar, Dusseldorf, Germany
The Play Room & Buffaloes, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne & University of Hanoi, College of Fine Arts
Mothership, Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
Dina Carola, Naples, Italy
Achim Kubinski, Berlin, Germany
The Seven Ages of a Playboy Bunny, Gimpel Fils, London, UK,
The Bear Facts, Galerie Transit, Leuven, Belgium
Mothership, Giordano Raffaeli, Trento, Italy
Marburger University Museum, Germany
Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Made in Europe, Ulmer Museum, Germany
Rosenheim farm, Rosenheim Kunstverein, Rosenheim, Germany
Gramency Park Paintings, Manus Presse, Stuttgart, Germany
Gaby Kranshaar, Düsseldorf, Germany
History / Hysterie, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney 
Minimalism, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Galerie Gaby Kraushaar, Düsseldorf, Germany
Galerie Janine Mautsch, Cologne, Germany
Galerie Hilger, Vienna, Austria
Paintings with Veils and False Tails, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong
Manus Presse, Stuttgart, Germany
Ludwigforum for Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
Galerie Fabian Walter, Basel, Switzerland
Prints, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Galerie Transit, Leuven, Belgium
Paintings with Veils and False Tails, Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Galerie Gaby Kraushaar, Düsseldorf, Germany
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Paintings with Veils and False Tails, Australian Pavillion, Venice Biennale, Italy
Galerie Janine Mautsch, Cologne, Germany
Galerie Hilger, Frankfurt, Germany
Galerie Von Witzleben, Karlsruhe, Germany
Yoshida Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Sue Crockford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
Yoshida Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Roberta Lietti Arte Contemporanea, Como, Italy
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney 
Black Wholes, City Gallery, Melbourne
Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
Galerie Hilger, Vienna, Austria
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
Pleasures and Memories, Galerie Hilger, Frankfurt, Germany
Fables, Pastoral and Present, City Gallery, Melbourne
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Roz Mac Allan Gallery, Brisbane
City Gallery, Melbourne
The Mad Room, City Gallery, Melbourne
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Roz Mac Allan Gallery, Brisbane
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne
University Gallery, The University of Melbourne
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Art Projects, Melbourne
Art Projects, Melbourne
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Art Projects, Melbourne
Q Space Annex, Brisbane Art Projects, Melbourne
Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane
Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Q Space Annex, Brisbane
Axiom Gallery, Melbourne
David Reid Gallery, Sydney
Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne
Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne
Abraxas Gallery, Canberra
Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne
Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane
Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne
Chapman Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne

Selected Group Exhibitions

Illusion  and Reality, Australian  State Gallery tour
Powell Street Artists at Cuningham-Ward,  New York
Alliance Française Fellowship  Winners,  Melbourne
Australian  Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Biennale  of Sydney, Art Gallery ofNew SouthWales, Sydney
POPISM,  National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
A.U.S.T.R.A.L.I.A., Zona, Florence
D’un autre continent:  I’ Australie.  Le rêve et Ie réel, ARC/ Musée d’ Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Biennale  of Sydney, Art Gallery  of New South Wales, Sydney
ISOLAUSTRALIA, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice
3. Internationale Triennale der Zeichnung, Stadt Kunsthalle, Nürnberg
Biennaledes Friedens, Kunsthaus und Kunstsverein, Hamburg
Sixth Triennale -India, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery ofNew South Wales, Sydney
The Australian Exhibition, Frankfurter Kunstverein und Württembergischer
Kunstverein, Stuttgart
Personal Portraits, AnninaNoseiGallery, New York
Aufzeichnung (Notes), Janine Mautsch Galerie, Cologne
Sinnlich, Janine Mautch Galerie, Cologne
Artae, Via Monte della Farina 51, Romeande Milan
Figürliche Zeichnung, KunstvereinHeilbronn
Prospect, Schim-Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
TheBody- TheHuman Measure. with Felix Droese, Galerie Gaby Kraushaar, Dusseldorf
Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
Sacred & Profane, Studio Annina Nosei, Rome, curated by Francesca Pietracci Galerie FabianWalter, Basel, Switzerland
Yoshida Gallery, Contemp. Art Fair, Nagoya, Japan
OneWorld: Many Visions, In celebration ofthe 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, Silvermine Guild Arts Center Gallery ,New Canaan, CT
Hotel on Fire, KelownaArt Gallery, B.C. Canadae
Gallery Artists, Annina Nosei, New York
 Private Parts, Monash University Gallery Melboume
“bLIND dATE”, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium
Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, ‘Gallery Artists’
“Desire”, curated by Peter Weiermeier, in 3 German Museums
Innocence and Experience, Gimpel Fils, London, 4/4-13/5/2007, with Carolina Raquel Antich, Corinne Day, Sarah Dobal & Jenny Watson 
Alternative States, Carolina Antich, Steven Gontarski, littlewhitehead, Shana Moulton, Hirsch Perlman, Sista Pratesi, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Jenny Watson in Gimpel Fils, London
‘Verzorgers, Uit’ in Herman Teirlinckhuis, Beersel Een tentoonstelling met als thema: ‘boksen’. Sergey Bratkov, Jenny Watson, Gery De Smet, Jo De Smedt, Nick Andrews, Fred Bervoets, Paul Casaer, Wouter Feyaerts, Tina Gillen, Werner Mannaers, Nadia Naveau, Peter Rogiers, Guy Van Bossche, Rinus Van de Velde, Luc Dondeyne, Stephan Vanfleteren, Herman Van Ingelgem, Kris Van Hemelrijck. Samenstelling: Johnny Maeschalck, 9 september – 14 oktober 2012 

Jenny Watson: Chronicles , Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane

University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane

A Painting Show, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Spacingout, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Thin Skin, Monash Univeristy Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, Australia

White Horse with Telescope, 2012, Syn­thet­ic poly­mer paint on rab­bit skin glue primed cotton, 200 cm x 130 cm


Paul Taylor. “Jenny Watson’s ‘Modemism”, Art International, Vol.24.No.5/6, Lugamo,
January/February 1981, pp.209-218
Paul Taylor. “Australian ‘New Wave’ and the Second Degree”‘,Art Text, No.1, Melboume, Autumn 1981, pp.23-33
John NixOn. “Frorn a Dream, Notes on Art Practice”, Arts Projects, Melbourne, 1982, unpaginated
Ashley Crawford. “Interview” The Virgin Press, No.19, Melbourne, November 1982, pp.18-20 BerniceMurphy. “Recent Painting in Australia” FlashArt, Milan, January 1983, pp.56-59 Paul Taylor. “POPISM”, Real Life Magazine, No.9, New York, 1983, pp. 14-20
Marina Wamer. “Bush Natural”, Parkett, Zurich, March 1991, pp.6-11
Betsey Brennan.Vogue Living, Vol.XXV, No.8, Sydney, October 1991, p.31
Anne Leithäuser. “Jenny Watson”, Artist Kunstmagazine, No.10/11, Bremen, 1992, pp.52-55 Keith Seward. “Painting with Bowler Hats and BottIes”, Artforum, Vol.XXXI, No.6, New York, February 1993, pp.96-97
Carmel Dwyer, “Creator of her own world”, Sydney Morning Herald, June 29, 1994 Holland Cotter, “Jenny Watson at AnninaNosei” The New YorkTimes, Sept. 1994


1977         “Illusion and Reality”, Australian Gallery Directors’ Council, Sydney, John Stringer{ed.)
1982 The Fourth Biennale of Sydney: “Vision in Disbelief’. Biennale of Sydney Ltd, Sydney. Texts by WilliameWright andeElwyn Lynn.
The PhillipMorris ArtseGrant/Australian Art ofthe LastTen Years. Australian National Gallery, Canbeua. TextbyJamesMollison
“POPISM”. National GalleryofVictoria, Melbourne. Text by Paul Taylor. “The International Transavantgarde”. Giancarlo Politi, Milan, Achille Bonito Oliva ( ed.).
1983 “D’un autre continent: I’ Australie. Le rêve et Ie réel”. ARC/ Musée d’ Art
         Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Texts by Leon Paroissien and Meaghan Morris.
1984 The Fifth Biennale of Sydney, “Private Symbol: Social Metaphor”. Biennale of
         Sydney Ltd,  Sydney. Text by Lorena Mazzocco.
1985          3. Internationale Triennale der Zeichnung, Stadt Kunsthalle, Nümberg. Text by William Wright
“Jenny WatsonPaintings andDrawings 1972-85”. University Gallery, The University of Melbourne. Texts by Leon Paroissien and Frances Lindsay
1986 Sixth Treinnale-India 1986: Marion Borgelt, Jenny Watson. Visual Arts Board,
         Australia Council, Sydney.Textsby Victoria Lynn and Paul Taylor.
1990         “Jenny Watson: Pleasures andeMernories”. Galerie Hilger, Frankfurt.
         Text by Bernice Murphy
1991 Jenny Watson.AnninaNoseiGallery,New Vork. Text by Carlo McCormick.
         Artae, Prearo, Milan. Text by Achille Bonito Oliva.
1993         “Jenny Watson:Painter forthe Miuor”, Venice Biennale catalogue .Texts by
         Judy Annear
1994         “Fragments of Reminiscences”, Mannheimer Kunstverein .Texts by Martin Stather
1995         “Almanacco2000”, Florence, ed. Nanucci, Maurizio
1996         “Jenny Watson:lm Gesprach mit einer femen Vergangenheir”, Ulm Museum. Texts by Ruth HandIer
“Jenny Watson”, Brigitte Reinhardt,  Klaus Geuit Friese. Texts by Rellate Puvogel, Brigitte Reinhardt, Hanna Stegmayer
1997         “Mothership”  Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento Italy. Text by Hanna Stegmayer
“Hotel on flre”. Texts by Gary Pearson,   Kelowna, and Michael Haerdter, Berlin Kelowna Art Gallery  BC Canada
2006 ‘Destination Belgium’, Transit Gallery, text by Jan Hoet


1975                                                              Georges’ Prize (shared) Travel Grant, Visual Arts Board
1979                                                              Alliance Francaise Fellowship
1980                                                              Grant to Individuals, Visual Arts Board
1984                                                              Half Standard Grant, Visual Arts Board
1986                                                              Gold Medal, Indian Triennale, Delhi
1987                                                              Newcastle Art Prize (joint winner with Mike Parr)
1990                                                              Portia Geach Art Prize
1997                                                              Residency, College of Fine Arts, Hanoi, Vietnam December 1997 – March 1998
1997                                                              Deacons Graham & James award residency in Tokyo – Jan/Feb 1999
1997                                                              Residency, Chemnitz, Germany July 1998
1998 Deacolls Graham &James award residency in Tokyo
Arts Victori Travel Program
1999                                                              Semifinalist, “Parque de la Memoria”,Sculpture Prize, Argentina

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