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Ouattara Watts, For Lily

Mike Weiss Gallery
520 West 24th Street, 212-691-6899
November 15, 2007 - January 5, 2008
Reception: Thursday, November 15, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Mike Weiss Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new large-scale paintings by Ouattara Watts.

Born in Adidjan, Ivory Coast, Ouattara studied painting in Paris, and has lived and worked in New York for the past nineteen years. His latest body of work seems to take on the world as its subject matter – geo-politics, jazz, allusions to classical African clay architecture, even an homage to Baudelaire – reflecting on the artist’s multicultural identity and lifetime of travel.

The mixed-media paintings on view are ambitiously sized assemblages (some measuring as large as ten feet), executed in vibrant colors and packed with photographs, pieces of tapestry, old maps and other material elements that have been collaged onto the surface. The intensity of Ouattara’s mark-making and his combination of forms demonstrates a keen sense of rhythm and a distinctive blend of gravity and wit. Symbols, numbers, animals and geometric shapes filter throughout the paintings, weaving together details and historical narratives that channel a spiritual force field shared across cultures. Ouattara’s deep iconography of imagery reaches far and wide, referencing the fragmented quality of contemporary culture and communicating a dynamic vision that extends beyond geographic boundaries.
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