May 15-29, 2021
340 Dundas Street, Toronto
Bau-Xi Gallery is pleased to present a highly anticipated exhibition by contemporary abstract painter, Janna Watson. Best known for her contemporary interpretation and approach to automatic painting, this new body of work combines Watson’s previously separate painting and rug practices, exploring the interactions of art and design through the artist’s feminist and Neo-Bauhaus point of view.
Taught at a young age by her late grandfather, Watson’s dynamic compositions are manifestations of emotion and energy as described through the artist’s distinctive treatment of colour, line and mass.
Inspired by her grandfather, who never found a market in rug making but exposed his granddaughter to the effort, artistry and time behind the scenes that goes into creating a rug, her work aims to challenge the value of both craft and high-art.
In this exhibition, Watson brings both of her practices together, questioning the attitudes associated with ‘craft’ — an art form that has been devalued by its domestic associations.
With a nod to the Bauhaus movement — a radical utopian art school that pushed for the unification of art and design in the material world and was the only place that openly accepted women into its program — Watson’s choice of medium consciously aligns with the crafts of textiles and ceramics that were allowed to be practiced by women at the time.
The artist's contemporary Neo-Bauhaus approach is inspired by and honours artists such as Anni Albers, Marianne Brandt and Gertrud Arndt, who challenged the notion of domesticity.