Barrington Watson to do Book Signing at the Olympia Gallery on February 25

The National Gallery of Jamaica and the Olympia Gallery are pleased to announce that Professor the Hon. Barrington Watson, OJ, will be available to sign copies of the catalogue publication Barrington: A Retrospective (2012), on Saturday, February 25, from 12 noon to 4 pm. This event will take place at the Olympia Gallery, 202 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6 and the public is invited.

Born in Hanover, Jamaica, in 1931, Barrington Watson was educated at the Royal College of Art in London and attended several other major European art academies, including the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. He returned to Jamaica in 1961 and quickly rose to prominence as one of the most influential artistic figures in post-Independence Jamaica. Along with Eugene Hyde and Karl Parboosingh, he established the Contemporary Jamaican Artists’ Association (1964-1974) and he was the Director of Studies at the Jamaica School of Art, where he introduced the full-time diploma programme. Essentially an academic realist, Barrington Watson has explored a wide range of themes and genres in his work, including history painting, genre, portraits and self-portraits, nudes, erotica, the landscape and the still life.

The Barrington: A Retrospective catalogue publication, a 192, colour-illustrated book with essays by David Boxer, Claudia Hucke and Veerle Poupeye, and a chronology by Tamara Scott-Williams, accompanies the like-named major retrospective of Barrington’s work currently stated by the National Gallery of Jamaica. The retrospective provides a thematic overview of Barrington’s work from the 1950s to the present and includes paintings and works on paper as well as a documentary display. The main exhibition is on view at the National Gallery of Jamaica itself, with smaller satellite exhibitions at the Bank of Jamaica and at the Olympia International Art Centre, the home of the Olympia Gallery. At the Bank of Jamaica, the display is centered on Barrington’s The Garden Party, a large mural-sized painting commission in the central bank’s collection which was commissioned in 1975. At Olympia, the exhibition comprises the site specific mural Our Heritage, which was commissioned and completed in 1974, works from the Pan-Africanists series and other works on Jamaica’s African heritage. The exhibition opened at the National Gallery on January 8 and will be on view at the three locations until April 14.

Barrington Watson’s Our Heritage (1974) mural at Olympia

The founder of the Olympia International Art Centre, the current home of the Olympia Gallery, was A.D. Scott, who was also the chairman of the Contemporary Jamaican Artists and a close associate of Barrington and his contemporaries. To accompany the National Gallery’s satellite exhibition at the Olympia building, the Olympia Gallery is now mounting an exhibition of work by Barrington and his contemporaries, particularly Eugene Hyde and Karl Parboosingh. Patrons will be able to view this new Olympia Gallery exhibition at the book signing on February 25.

The Barrington: A Retrospective catalogue is available for sale at $ 5,000 at the National Gallery of Jamaica gift shop and at the Olympia Gallery. Hard cover catalogues are also be available on a “to order” basis.  For more information on the Barrington: A Retrospective exhibition and publication, please contact the National Gallery of Jamaica at 922-1561 or -3 or at: info@natgalja.org.jm. For information on the book signing and the exhibition of Barrington and his contemporaries at the Olympia Gallery, please contact 927-1608 or theartcentre@cwjamaica.com

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