Vertigo #4
Vertigo #4
Vertigo #4 Mixed media on denim, 260 x 400 cm, 2012 © Ouattara Watts

Born in 1957 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Ouattara Watts lives and works in New-York, USA.

“He is not a painter ouattara watts is the black architecte” the builder of the city of the 21st century, a city of reunion, of association, and not of division, is what one finds in the very structure of his painting, for a reason. not a duality, concurrent forces which interact and which interact with is, a construction to which deconstruction participates (see the background of canvases of ouattara which evoke a universe of chaos but also of energy). to become aware that we take part in this all.’ Robert Farris Thompson

From early on in his career (which spans nearly four decades), Watts has taken an interdisciplinary approach to his work, referencing many cultures, adding elements of lyrical composition (he’s a jazz enthusiast) and even topography, applying drawings and collage to canvas. Watts’ work is tricky to decipher—he pushes the boundaries, and then some. Compared to his contemporaries who often dilute everything down to décor, Watts invigorates painting with an aesthetic that’s difficult to pigeonhole. Known by many as a neo-expressionist artist in the likes of Basquiat (who he was close friends with), Watts’ large-scale canvasses seem to transcend time. He also delves into mysticism.

Ouattara Watts has exhibited at MoMA PS1, the Whitney Biennale, and the New Museum in New York. He has also held solo exhibitions at various institutions and galleries including: Hess Art Collection,San Fransisco usa and Paarl, South Africa; Magazzino d’arte Moderna, Rome, Italy; Galeria Leyendeker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canay Island, Spain; The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Leo Koenig, New York, NY; Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO; The Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO; Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY; and, Documenta in Kassel,Germany Berkeley museum, San Fransisco USA, Japan and elsewhere.

Ouattara Watts
Solo Exhibitions 2016 • New painting, Magazzino, Roma, Italy 2015 • Galerie Boulakia, Paris, France 2013 • Ouattara Watts: The Project Room, FIAF Gallery, New-York, USA 2012 • Vertigo, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, New York, USA 2011 • Hong Kong International Art Fair, Galerie Charest-Weinberg, China 2009 • Andy Goldsworthy and Ouattara Watts, Hess Art Collection, International Contemporary Art at Glen Carlou, Paarl, South Africa 2008 • Outlaw, Magazzino d’arte Moderna, Roma, Italy • Galeria Leyendeker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Canarias, Spain • Hess Art Collection, Paarl, South Africa 2007 • Ouattara Watts: For Lily, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, USA 2006 • Ouattara Watts: Works on Paper, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, USA 2004 • The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA • Crossing Currents – The Synergy of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ouattara Watts, The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA • Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milano, Italy • Tracy Williams Gallery, New York, USA • Ouattara Watts : Opere Recenti curated by Okwui Enwezor, Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Roma, Italy 2002 • Leo Koenig, New York, USA 1999 • Ouattara: in Roma, Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Roma, Italy 1998 • Ouattara New Work, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, USA 1996 • Ouattara Dark Star, The Kemper Museum, Kansas City, USA 1995 • Ouattara: New Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA 1994 • Ouattara, University Art Museum, Berkeley, USA 1993 • Galerie Boulakia, Paris, France 1992 • Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, USA 1990 • Galerie Boulakia, Paris, France • Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Japan • Vrej Baghoomian, New York, USA 1989 • Marilyn Butler Gallery, Los Angeles, USA 1986 • Centre Culturel de la Rochelle, La Rochelle, France Group Exhibitions 2017 • Afriques Capitales , Grande Halle de La Villette, Paris, France 2016 • Réenchantement, Dakar Biennale, Senegal • Armory show New York City, Magazzino d’art Moderna, Roma, Italy 2014 • 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Galerie Sitor Senghor, London, UK 2011 • Ouattara Watts and Katy Schimert, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York, USA 2010 • In Dialogue : Four Generations of Painting, curated by Peter Makebish, Charest-Weinberg Gallery, Miami, USA 2009 • HERD THINNER, curated by David Hunt, Charest-Weinberg Gallery, Miami, USA • Armory show New York City, Magazzino d’art Moderna, Roma, Italy 2006 • Intersections: Shifting Identity in Contemporary Art, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, USA • Realm of the Spirit, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, USA • Body of Evidence, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, USA 2003 • Black President - The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA 2002 • Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany • Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA • The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center Long Island City, USA 2001 • Gorney Bravin Lee, New York, USA 2000 • Transatlantic Dialog - In And Out of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, USA 1997 • Fukui Fine Arts Museum, Fukui, Japan • Chiba Museum of Art, Chiba, Japan 1994 • La Virreina Expositions, La Caixa, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Spain • Un Altre Pais, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas Fundacion, Spain • Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, USA 1993 • Venice Biennale, Italy 1992 • Other Drums: Visionary Works, Calvin Morris Gallery, New York, USA • Haessle, Ouattara, Ray Smith, Navara Gallery, New York, USA 1991 • Syncretism: The Art of the 20th Century, The Alternative Museum, New York, USA • Social Sculpture, Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, USA • African Explores: New and Renewed Forms in the 20th Century Art 1990 • It Must Give Pleasure Erotic Perceptions, Vrej Baghoomian, Gallery, New-York, USA • Images of Death in Contemporary Art, Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, USA 1988 • Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, USA 1986 • Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, USA 1985 • New painting, Magazzino, Roma, Italy