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The About Face catalogue allows you to explore the work and biographies of the 30 artists included in the original Face of Jamaica exhibition that toured Germany and the UK between 1963 and 1964. Scroll through pages sorted by surnames alphabetically.
The Standing Figure (drawing)
MALLICA ‘KAPO’ REYNOLDS (1911-1989)
Born 1911, Bynloss, St. Catherine. Self-taught artist and leader of a Revivalist group, an Afro-Jamaican religion. Numerous exhibitions and awards including Silver Musgrave Medal, 1969, and the Order of Distinction, 1977.
The Queen (sculpture)
Male and Female Created He Them
National Gallery of Jamaica
Interestingly, even though both the German audience as well as the Jamaican organisers seemed to prefer art that underlined formal and iconographic distinctions to Europe, only a few of the works included in Face of Jamaica follow that model. The reasons for this are varied. First of all, Jamaica was neither a homogenous nor a self-contained society. The nature of art education at that time, with the Jamaica School of Art and Crafts only having achieved full-time status the year before, forced aspiring professional artists to study abroad, thereby exposing them to trends elsewhere which they often incorporated in their own works. Moreover, the popularity in terms of collecting and exhibiting of self-taught artists was only slowly gaining ground in Jamaica around that time.
GASTON TABOIS (1931-2012)
Born 1931 in Trout Hall, St Catherine. Originally self-taught. Attended Dillard University, New Orleans but maintained his unique style of painting. Exhibited for many years through the Institute of Jamaica and the National Gallery of Jamaica. Lived and worked in Kingston.
RALPH THOMPSON (1928 - )
Born in 1928 in the USA, his education was heavily influenced by the Jesuits through high school in Jamaica and University in America. After earning his Doctor of Law degree at Fordham University, New York, he served for two years as an officer in the US Air Force, after which he returned to Jamaica and started his career as a businessman, poet and painter. Currently lives and works in Kingston. Awarded the CD Commander of Distinction in 1988.
Jamaican born artist who was active in the 1950s and 1960s but left the island to work abroad. Represented by Hills Galleries, Harbour Street. Continued to paint and exhibit infrequently.
A Study for the Life of Jamaica
BARRINGTON WATSON (1931 - )
Born in Lucea, Hanover, Jamaica. Educated at Kingston College. Attended London School of Printing and Graphic Art; the Royal College of Art, London; Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Academie de la Chaumiere, Paris, Accademie de Belle Arti, Rome; and Academia de las Bellas Artes, Madrid. Has exhibited extensively locally and internationally. Numerous commissions, and awards including Centenary Medal, Institute of Jamaica, 1980 and the Commander of the Order of Distinction, 1984.
Against the background of the nationalist sentiments that dominated Jamaica around independence, Barrington Watson expanded the scope of his portrait or genre paintings to that of history painting, regarded as the highest in the hierarchy of genres and especially popular with eighteenth century academy painters that Watson had studied while in Europe. Paintings such as Out of Many One People (1962) capture a sense of history making in the new country, and, therefore, need to be seen in the context of the post-independence process of creating new symbols of national identity. Jamaica’s national motto ‘Out of Many One People’ refers to the diverse ethnic groups that make up the Jamaican population and their unity.
OSMOND WATSON (1934-2005)
Born Kingston, Jamaica 1934. Attended art classes at the Junior Centre, Institute of Jamaica from 1948 until 1952; then Jamaica School of Art from that year until 1958, Kingston. Travelled to London in 1962 for further study at St Martin's School of Art until 1965. returned to Jamaica in the early 1960s where he lived and worked in Kingston until his death in 2005.
Mood of a November Evening
JOHN ‘DOC’ WILLIAMSON
* Reproduction, including downloading of works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of the artists.