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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Jenny Watson 4, February 1979, 1979 (printed 2012)

Robert Rooney

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 24.0 cm x 35.2 cm, image: 20.0 cm x 30.5 cm)

Jenny Watson (b. 1951), painter and lecturer, studied painting at the NGV school and completed her Dip. Ed. in Victoria in 1973. Her first exhibition, of life-sized photorealist figurative paintings, was in Melbourne in 1973; her second, in 1974, featured horses, painted in the same style. Over the decade and into the 1980s, her paintings became deliberately childlike in style and autobiographical in content, and frequently incorporated text (and horses). From 1978 to 1984 she was a partner with John Nixon in the exhibition space Art Projects. At the same time, between 1973 and 1989, she taught privately and at various schools and colleges. Between 1973 and 2006 she held about 90 solo exhibitions and was represented in numerous group shows. She won the Portia Geach Award for 1990, and represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1993. In 2005 there was a retrospective of her works on fabric at Griffith University, where she has been Adjunct Professor in the Painting Department since 2002. The exhibition Jenny Watson: here, there and everywhere, reflecting her many years’ travel and work overseas, showed at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in early 2012. Watson is represented in the National Gallery of Australia and state and regional galleries.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012

Accession number: 2012.100

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Robert Rooney (age 42 in 1979)

Jenny Watson (age 28 in 1979)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.