William Orpen

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19 November 2019 - 23 February 2020
Watts Gallery

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William Orpen
19 November 2019 - 23 February 2020
Free with admission | Friends free

Celebrated for his career as an official war artist and commercially successful portraitist, Irish-born painter, Sir William Orpen KBE RA (1878 – 1931), is known for his rapid and expressive painting style. Orpen was, however, meticulous when rendering the human form. Featuring a selection of striking portraits alongside closely observed pencil studies, this exhibition will present a unique insight into Orpen's artistic process, challenging the perception that his technique was spontaneous and impulsive.

Inspired by the significance of the artist's studio to the Artists' Village, this exhibition will illuminate Orpen's artistic practice through an exploration of 'Oriel', his London studio-home. Exhibiting, for the first time, original studio materials alongside representations of the studio, 'Oriel' will come alive in our temporary exhibition space to convey the artist's evolving and experimental treatment of light, space and materials.

Watts Contemporary Gallery will feature an exhibition of works by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters from 10 January - 23 February. Sir William Orpen was President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters from 1924 – 1930.

Watts Gallery Trust is deeply grateful to the Exhibition Circle for their support of this exhibition.


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Watts Gallery Trust is a registered Charity. Charity No. 313612. All profits help us to provide excellent educational activities, stage critically acclaimed exhibitions, and maintain our collection, buildings and estate for future generations to enjoy.

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