Max Wigram Gallery proudly announces a solo show of new works by Richard Wathen. The exhibition features four new paintings and a series of etchings made in collaboration with Paragon Press.
Wathen’s engagingly familiar but teasingly elusive figures are drawn from a variety of different iconographic sources such as old books, photographic portraits, art historical references and snapshots. Gender and age are distorted by the use of disquieting details that dislocate the subject in time and place.
Florence is characterized by such ambiguity and belongs to Wathen’s recurrent theme of figures holding rabbits where the animal is emblematic of their sense of vulnerability. The Maker refers to the painting genre of the card player and can be conceived as the portrait of an artist. Here, the house of cards suggests the idea of something outside the painting, an odd, separated element, a sort of abstract painting within the painting, as it were. Alongside portraits Wathen has, in the past, painted landscapes pregnant with arrays of inconspicuous animals. Llareggub marks the artist’s return after three years to the landscape genre.