Denys Watkins Monograph 2017

Project Name

Denys Watkins Monograph 2017

About This Project

The first project announced for Bath Street Arts Trust is a long overdue monograph on the artist Denys Watkins. This hardcover book, to be published in 2017, will survey Watkins’ painting practice between 2003-2016; a productive period in his career, which now spans more than forty years. Bath Street Arts Trust are working directly with Watkins on this project, as well as several outstanding New Zealand art writers. The book will be professionally designed, photographed and published as a limited edition in 2017.


Denys Watkins’ paintings, drawn from impressions of the modern world, are colourful and have long been favoured for their accessible and enigmatic qualities. Following his attendance in the 2003 Sanskriti Kendra residency in New Delhi, India, Watkins’ work flourished, culminating in a very popular exhibition at The Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland. Subsequent work and exhibitions have further advanced Watkins’ iconic style. In his works, fields of colour are typically juxtaposed with abstract forms and occasionally objects drawn from the real world, creating what NZ Herald art reviewer T.J. McNamara described as “witty dissonances”, that combine in each work to create a balanced whole.


About the artist: Denys Watkins lives and works in Auckland. He was born in Wellington and received his art education at Wellington School of Design; Central School of Art and Design, London; Royal College of Art, London. Watkins is one of New Zealand’s significant visual artists and has been exhibiting for over forty years, with works in major public and private collections around New Zealand and Australia. He was a senior lecturer at Elam School of Fine Art, The University of Auckland from 1980 to 2011.


Pictured: Denys Watkins, Staghorn Atoll, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 1200 x 1200mm, private collection


Cover image: Denys Watkins, Bob and John, 2010, acrylic on linen, 450 x 610mm, courtesy of the artist