|Orpheus by Patricia Watwood, Oil on Canvas, 72x108|
|November 18 - December 13, 2015|
|Thursday, November 19, 6:00-9:00pm|
|Meet the Artist @ Opening Reception|
|Artist Talk and Intro @ 7:30pm|
Dacia Gallery proudly presents New Narratives, a solo exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Patricia Watwood. The centerpieces of the show are two large multi-figure narrative paintings that Patricia has been working on over a period of two years. As her work has developed, she have felt compelled to make larger, more complex work that brings narrative storytelling into compositions. Orpheus is essentially the story of going to the ends of the earth for someone you love, and tells that music and human relationships (and by extension art) are the things worth living for. By contrast, The Sixth Extinction highlights the vulnerability and crisis of our earth in our age of anxiety and climate change. The three women are allegorical figures: Gaia, the primordial earth goddess, a caryatid and a naiad - all classic characters drawn from the history of art and cast to symbolize humanity’s precarious position. They embody our emotional overwhelm in the face of the transformations in the world brought about by humans. Technology is both our destruction and great hope, and our proper relationship to it our salvation. The other component of the show is a series of drawings and small paintings that explore similar pictorial terrain and use the allegorical combination of women who embody the sacred feminine within a narrative setting of our changing environment. Caryatids bear the weight of civilization, so the fallen caryatid is a metaphor culture’s potential collapse, our burden, and peril. The Zephyrs are wind spirits—representing the blowing winds of change. Sybils are prophet figures—seers of the future and harbingers of danger. The Lunettes and Femen drawings and painting represent power in feminine form and agency to implement change. “These paintings and drawings reflect the way in which I am responding to the great sea change afoot in the world, known as the Great Turning. Altogether, the work in this show is an attempt to embody my emotional and visual relationship to that transforming and vulnerable world.” - Patricia Watwood
Patricia Watwood has exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide such as Hirschl & Adler, Dacia Gallery and The Forbes Galleries in NYC, Meredith Long in Houston, John Pence in San Francisco, and Galerie L’oeil du Prince, Paris. In 2012-2013, her work was viewed in six cities China in an historic presentation of American painting, Contemporary American Realism, beginning at the Beijing World Art Museum. Watwood’s solo museum exhibit, Patricia Watwood: Myths & Individuals was on view in 2011-2012: St. Louis University Museum of Art, and The Forbes Galleries, NYC. Watwood earned her MFA with Honors from New York Academy of Art, and studied with Jacob Collins as a founding member of the Water Street Atelier. Watwood has been an adjunct professor of drawing at New York Academy of Art, and has given lectures and workshops across the country, and is a featured art instructor with craftsy.com
I am a contemporary figurative artist working in the classical tradition of oil painting. I use narrative structures like allegory and myth to explore meaning in our common experience. I create images to evoke our spiritual human presence and emotional connection through art. The nude is my primary subject, and is to me an enduring vessel for the exploration of the human condition. I use art history and narratives as a foil for expressing both my place in the lineage of art, and my contemporary experience, which contradicts the dominant cultural themes. My work prioritizes aesthetic principles, intellectual engagement, technical rigor and craft, and balances perception with design. They reflect my search for meaning and desire to connect with my subjects and viewers.