Janna Watson | Patterns of Up and Down

Janna Watson at Bau-Xi Gallery

Janna Watson | Patterns of Up and Down
June 9-23, 2018
340 Dundas St West, Toronto
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 9, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Artist in Attendance


The Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto will be presenting the newest body of work from painter Janna Watson, in a solo exhibition entitled ‘Patterns of Up and Down’. Janna Watson's compelling abstract compositions use colour, line, and energetic brushstrokes to evoke emotion in the viewer. Her work possesses an elegant and powerful energy, created with a carefully balanced pairing of loose painting and gestural mark-making. Watson's paintings are altogether honest and confident, vulnerable and evocative portraits of colour, texture, space, and movement.

Watson’s work can be found in several significant collections including the TD Bank Financial Group, CIBC, Nordstrom, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and the HBC Global Art Collection in New York. The Toronto-based artist has exhibited across Canada and internationally.

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Artist Statement | Patterns of Up and Down 

Over the past several months, I've been painting in my studio and contemplating the act of being versus the act of doing. "To be" is to have a conscious existence whereas "to do" is the act of performing. In other words, getting up and lying down is something that we all do in our day-to-day, and being up and being down is inside the emotional daily pattern of our lifestyle. These actions have been internalized then externalized through Patterns of Up and Down, and each painting can be seen as a part of me. I like to look at these pieces individually as daily entries of my aesthetic-journal.

I recently visited the AGO to see Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation. I was inspired by one particular work by Joan Mitchell where she wanted to convey the feeling of a dying sunflower. Like this flower, my painting is mutually linked to life's ups and downs, and so too are my titles; they are equally a part of me as the visual work itself. From moments where my acupuncturist said Eating Flowers is Good For Eyesight (particularly chrysanthemums) and realizing how painting Upside Down is a Whole New Way of Seeing, I am conveying my inner world and sharing my reality through abstracted forms.

Toronto was affected by the longest winter which got us all down. I walked to my studio in the April ice storm thinking about Mitchell's way of seeing and along these lines I painted Late Spring Feels Like Being Buried Alive. She changed the way I interpret light, colour, and emotions. Mitchell said “I paint from remembered landscapes that I carry with me – and remembered feelings of them, which of course become transformed. I could certainly never mirror nature. I would more like to paint what it leaves with me." Reading this was comforting. I hope that my interpretation of nature affects my viewers though their own unconscious realities.

Janna Watson, 2018 

Established in 1965, Bau-Xi Gallery represents both Canadian and International artists, exhibiting Modern and Contemporary painting, photography, and sculpture in three art galleries in Toronto and Vancouver.

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