Amanda Watt, 'Release'
22 September - 8 October 2022
Gallery Eight, 8 Duke Street, St. James's, London
In September 2022, K. Nichols Contemporary teamed up with Varvara Roza Galleries to co-present ‘Release’ by Irish Fusionist artist Amanda Watt. Her first largescale solo exhibition in the UK since the 1980s combined Watt's interiors, landscapes and depictions of the female form to create a show that was bold, bright and brave. All painted since returning to her native Northern Ireland after almost thirty years in the USA, the pieces took on a new sensitivity and emotional expression.
Inspired by her life in California and Florida, and her subsequent return to Ireland, this body of work was a huge artistic release for Watt: an outpouring of energy and emotion that created an explosion of colour and form. Watt investigated her own personality, experimented with paint and canvas, and trusted her intuition, letting her memory and imagination lead the way.
'Release’ offered a welcome escape from the trials and tribulations of contemporary life, from the fear of climate change and war, and the final release from the barriers erected by COVID-19, into a world imbued with vibrant colour, light and an alternative, escapist artist’s perspective. Paintings such as ‘Hollywood Hills’, ‘Hockney’s View’ and ‘The Chair’, evoked the 1980s Los Angeles-era paintings of David Hockney, playing with perspective and flooded with colour, while many other paintings in this show were reminiscent of the luminous, colourful Impressionist still lifes and depictions of the Cote d’Azur by Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy.
You can read more about the exhibition on Amanda's blog.