Patricia Watwood’s new solo show “Beauty and Terror” will be on view at Dacia Gallery in New York City, April 30–May 17. This new body of figurative paintings explores the human cycles of struggle, striving, and transformation, and the beauty and terror experienced along the way.
From Patricia Watwood:
This work has been created over a turbulent period of my life and reflects in metaphor my own journey through trial, limitation, growth, and recommitment. It feels to me that the whole world is in the middle of a critical time of opportunity, anxiety, and crisis — writ large on a planetary level, and infinitely small in the affairs of the heart.
In my new paintings, prophets, caryatids, lonely heroes, fleshy humans, and sensual dreamers are all part of the cast of this drama where we strive to understand ourselves, transcend the known world, and call to create a new one — but sometimes crash in trying. Skies and seas swirl with smoke and debris, signaling the fragility of the human souls within. Beauty and terror herein evoke not a “Golden Age,” but perhaps the end of the game.
In this set of paintings, I played with the brushwork, level of detail, abstract geometries, and expressiveness of the handling. My aim was to open up the metaphoric range and evoke the freedom of 20th-century painting to complement my affinity for representational figuration.
During this time, this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke from The Book of Hours has been a touchstone:
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
Then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear.
Flare up like a flame
And make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
“Blood and Terror” is on view at Dacia Gallery (New York) through May 17, 2019.
Visit Patricia Watwood’s website at www.patriciawatwood.com.
Preview “Creating Portraits from Life” here: