Puncher & Wattmann
by John Watson
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Albert Marquet travelling widely in search of the ultimate harbour; Pierre Bonnard ‘transcribing the adventures of the optic nerve’; Max Beckmann plunging into myth: these are the subjects of Watson’s three manoeuvres. Picasso famously said that Bonnard’s palette was a ‘pot-pourri of indecision’ and that he ‘never used one colour when he could use many’. Watson’s celebration of Bonnard takes this multiplicity as its starting point. In Bonnard ‘the complexity of the visual field’ becomes the complexity of narrative. This variegated sequence is flanked by a suite of poems accompanying Marquet’s repeated travels through France, Europe and Egypt; and by a tour-de-force in which Watson skis down the snow peaks of Beckmann’s world, negotiating a panoply of mermen, mermaids and demi-gods.
“His poems range considerably, from beautifully poised meditations in the manner of Wallace Stevens through to light-hearted satire.”
“Wow!… his work is extraordinary.”
“An eclectic excursion through the lives of three painters who embody aspects of Watson’s own preoccupations, namely wit, complexity and effortless lyricism.”
Reviews and information on other websites
Pursuing the Elusive Whole: Ashley Haywood Reviews ‘3 Painters: Collected Works Volume 5’ by John Watson, Rochford Street Review, September 2015