b. 1972, Lusaka, ZM
Lives and works in Norfolk, UK
Jonathan Wateridge is best known for his paintings that depict spectral, isolated men and women who blend in and out of their poolside environments. The series initially explored economic and racial tensions in postcolonial Zambia, witnessed by a young Wateridge most poignantly in and around pools. Early paintings in this body of work featured adroit representations of figures emanating foreboding auras of decadence, atomization, and social discordance, based on large sets built by the artist and populated with figure models. More recently, he has developed a formal language to more deeply explore figures that often seem isolated, interrupted, or unsure of themselves - figures, in other words, who occupy a world that is no longer guaranteed or available to them.
The formal and expressive aspects of Wateridge's style have come to the fore in recent years, as he pushes the tension between realist elements and a sense of the cinematic with the visual grammars of modernism. Each painting is heavily worked, sometimes taking multiple years to complete, and such changes are becoming increasingly visible on the surface of the canvases. This more fluid and expressive process has now superseded his previous affinity for building sets and hiring models; the staged theater of his earlier work is now contained in the very making of the paintings themselves.
Jonathan Wateridge (b. 1972, Lusaka, ZM; lives and works in Norfolk, UK) will have multiple recently acquired works exhibited as a solo presentation at the Aïshti Foundation in 2022. The artist has most recently exhibited with the Hayward Gallery, London; T.J. Boulting, London; Galerie Haas, Zurich; Pace Gallery and HENI, London. Wateridge's work is in the collections of institutions worldwide, including Aïshti Foundation, Lebanon; Pinault Foundation, Venice; the Saatchi Collection, London; the Rennie Collection, Vancouver; and Simmons & Simmons, London.