new-york

Jenny Watson

Annina Nosei Gallery

When artists paint like children should you give them a lollipops or put them over your knee? Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and the rest of the Blaue Reiter group thought they could tap some primal impulse by making art like children (and other primitives), but in retrospect all their blather about “naivete” and “innocence” seems like the by-product of some regressive psychodrama. Can the same be said of Jenny Watson? The work in her new show, “paintings with bowler hats and bottles,” is certainly more “childlike” than ever. She likes to paint little girls, little boys, orange cats, and blue horses. She renders them so flatly that they’re no more subtantial than stick figures. And rather than paint on canvas (like grown-up artists), she uses materials that could easily be leftovers from mom’s sewing box: taffeta, corduroy, velvet, buttons, ribbon, and haberdashery.

In Standing Man (all

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