Robert Watson (American 1923 - 2004) Oil on canvas
40" x 30" + original frame signed and dated LL "R. Watson 72".
Biography by Vincent Price
“Robert Watson (1923 - 2004) was born in Martinez, California
in a big house overlooking the bay, and with him was born the subject
of all his paintings - the loneliness of man in the mysterious world.
California provided this subject with a stage of vast space on which to
grow and evolve.
It wasn't until after High School, odd jobs, a sojourn in the Army and
study at Universities of California and Wisconsin that Watson's lonely
man, mysterious world became concrete through reality of paint on
canvas. This occurred between 1943 and 1947 when he went to New York
and later spent eight weeks studying with Frederic Taubes in Wisconsin.
Watson's career, a highly successful one, began with his first one-man
show in 1947 at Gump's and in 1950 in the California Palace of the
Legion of Honor, both in San Francisco.
Watson's mysterious world shows ancient buildings, vast in scale and
placed on plateaus that merge with the sky. His highly refined
technique merges two separate colors with a tender brush to create an
effect of blurred vision. Yet the finish is silky smooth - the fog or
the sky and the dust of the desert are one, as though painted with
In every painting Watson repeated the motif of solitary figures with
their backs to the viewer. Here, the desolation of the scene and the
curious mood of tranquility and despair combined are observed with
stoic silence by these solitary watchers who seem to have lived long
and seen all. They represent not only Robert Watson's quest but ours as
well, for we too are lonely men in the mysterious world.”