Alison Watt (Scottish painter)
Alison Watt OBE (born 1965, Greenock, Scotland) is a Scottish painter, who first came to national attention while still at college when she won the 1987 Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Alison Watt graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1988. While still a student, she came to national attention by winning the 1987 John Player Portrait Award and as a result was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Queen Mother. Her first works to become well known were dryly painted figurative canvases, often female nudes, in light filled interiors. An exhibition of her work entitled Fold in 1997 at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery was the first introducing fabric alongside these figures, simultaneously suggesting a debt to the 19th-century French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, as well as pointing to the possibilities of abstraction.
In 2000 she became the youngest artist to be offered a solo exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with an exhibition called Shift, with 12 huge paintings featuring fabric alone.(source National Gallery, London) In 2003 Watt was shortlisted for The Jerwood Painting Prize.
Watt exhibited during the Edinburgh Festival 2004, installing a 12 ft painting Still, in the memorial chapel of Old St Paul's Church. Linen bound books were published to commemorate each exhibition. For Still, Alison Watt was awarded the 2005 ACE (Art+Christianity Enquiry) award for 'a Commissioned Artwork in Ecclesiastical Space'.
In Summer 2005 she took part in the Glenfiddich residency.
From January 2006 to February 2008, Watt served as the seventh and youngest artist in residence at the National Gallery, London. She worked within the gallery, and explored an enduring fascination with one particular painting in the collection, Zurbaran's St. Francis in Meditation (1635–9). The work she created in this time was displayed in a special exhibition called Phantom, in the Sunley Room, running from 12 March to 22 June 2008.
Watt's work has been widely exhibited. Her paintings are held in many public collections, including The National Portrait Gallery, London, Glasgow Museums, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Scottish Parliament Art Collection, Southampton Art Gallery, The Freud Museum, London, The Fleming Collection, London, The British Council, and The Uffizi Gallery, Florence. In 2012 the Scottish National Portrait Gallery purchased her Self-portrait painting (1986/7) from her private collection for £20,000, to celebrate its re-opening after a refurbishment.
Alison Watt is represented by Ingleby Gallery.
- "Alison Watt". National Gallery. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
- "Alison Watt". Ingleby Gallery. 2013. Retrieved 11 Dec 2013.
- "Art review: Alison Watt - Paintings 1986-2014, Perth". The Scotsman. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Phil Miller (12 April 2012). "Striking Watt painting is first purchase of revamped National Portrait Gallery". The Herald (Scotland). Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Still by Alison Watt". Old Saint Paul's Scottish Episcopal Church. Retrieved 10 Dec 2013.
- "Dark Light". Ingleby Gallery. Retrieved 11 Dec 2013.
- "Alison Watt paintings" (slideshow). BBC Your Paintings. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- 2008 New Year Honours
- National Portrait Gallery collection - Alison Watt
- Ingleby Gallery "Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Link to artists page, CV, biography and exhibition information. Representative Gallery."