• Jenny Watson, Rock Star (detail), 2014, oil, synthetic polymer paint, and Japanese pigment on damask, found toy, dimensions variable.


    Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia
    140 George Street The Rocks
    July 5–October 2

    Curated by Anna Davis

    With a career spanning five decades, Jenny Watson is one of Australia’s most acclaimed painters in the expressionist idiom. Her signature large canvases often combine spidery text, sketchy images, and collage, and recall the self-conscious naïveté and coloristic virtuosity of works by Paul Klee and Marc Chagall. Watson’s expressionism is deeply informed by autobiographical themes from her youth, and is shaped by a whimsical, feminist perspective. This major survey, which is accompanied by a catalogue, includes work from the late 1970s to the present, encompassing the artist’s early experiments in Photorealism and ’80s-era neo-Pop, and her canvases populated by horses, ballerinas, little girls, modish young women, cats, birds, and punk musicians. Although her constellations of imagery are always intensely personal, Watson nevertheless manages to speak to universal concerns.