Watercolour on paper, framed
38,5 x 28,5 cm
Out of stock
about this work
Over the last two years, Richard Wathen started making watercolour portraits – sketches, as it were, for more refined portraits in oil. These meditative portraits, combining an expressive brushstroke with a typically saturated colour palette, quickly lost their status as a sketch and became a new series within Wathen’s painterly practice.
artlead invited Richard Wathen to make two series of portraits for its new ‘artlead series’, and is proud to present here Avery and Arden.
about Richard Wathen
Richard Wathen’s practice is rooted in the art historical tradition of portrait painting. His painted characters are fictitious – he invents figures, even typologies, in a sense. In Wathen’s earlier works, characters are depicted in a historical setting, each with its attributes. Since a few years, however, all contextualisation has disappeared. The characters appear in front of a monochrome background and only carry ‘mute’ accessories such as a flower or a glass.
Wathen’s portraits excel in ambiguity. The gender or age of his characters is unclear, but they all seem to be strongly introverted. They are sunk into a fragile state of contemplation or stare sadly ahead. Throughout several works, we recognise the same fictional characters. Wathen himself says: “I was interested in portraying someone at more than one point in their life. Like taking the cubists’ idea of multiple viewpoints and applying it to time.”