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Alison Watt: The Sun Never Knew How Wonderful It Was at Parafin Gallery, Mayfair

  • Parafin Gallery 18 Woodstock Street London, W1C United Kingdom (map)

The starting point for Watt’s new work is an extended engagement with a masterwork by Peter Paul Rubens, Venus Frigida (1614), in the collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. The painting was included in Rubens and His Legacy at the Royal Academy of Arts in early 2015, where Watt had the opportunity to study it. Rubens’ inspiration for the figure of Venus was a marble statue he had seen in Rome, and his extraordinary transposition of cold inert stone into voluptuous living flesh is a source of ongoing fascination for Watt. Watt says: ‘Making a painting often comes from looking at a painting. Sometimes when I look at a truly great painting, I can’t help but be affected by it and something will come from that experience. The formal qualities of my work, those proportions which have always been satisfying and made sense to me, come from years of looking at paintings, particularly old master paintings. The past remains current and looking in this way is something which is central to my understanding of my own work.’


17th March- 17th May 2016

18 Woodstock Street
London W1C 2AL

+44 (0)20 7495 1969