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Millesgården Museum: Italian Autumn - Liselotte Watkins’ Italy



Millesgården Museum: Italian Autumn - Liselotte Watkins’ Italy



4 September-21 November 2021


"I am building Italy here".

This is what Carl Milles (1875-1955) wrote to a friend in 1923 when he was in the process of building what today is Millesgården Museum. From the spacious Lower Terrace with its monumental fountains we are led up through the park to the more intimate spaces of the Upper Terrace replete with columns, sculptures and trimmed boxwood hedges.

Here in the Artist’s Home, where Carl and Olga Milles lived and worked, the art collection, architecture and the interior design have been influenced by journeys to Italy, including Pompeii.

Outside the Artist’s Home, a large fresco of the Bay of Naples from 1921, by the artist Jürgen Wrangel, decorates the façade of the building known as the Small Studio.

In the autumn, Millesgården Museum presents an exhibition by artist Liselotte Watkins (b. 1971) who lives and works in Italy and has also worked at Villa San Michele on Capri. Liselotte Watkins finds inspiration for her painting in her daily life in Rome, where she moved with her family some years ago.

Watkins has spent a long time illustrating and painting women. During the pandemic year, in locked-down Italy, she observed how women spend time in and close to their homes. Based on close readings of herself and other women, she creates images that are interpretations of moods and emotional states. What do these women dream of, what do they do and what do they think about?

Watkins creates a fictional reality; mainly from home environments, La Vita; from the Italian countryside, La Natura; and from the beach, Il Mare.

Filled with humorous and playful details and furniture, the motifs referring to art history, older still-lives and intimate depictions of space. The pictorial surface is dominated by geometric shapes with the sporadic appearance of a human presence.

Watkins paints solely with acrylic and appreciates the speed of the technique, unlike oil which is painted layer upon layer. Her choice of technique was inspired by Picasso’s impatient approach to art.

Other series in Watkins’ artistry comprise painted amphoras and other ceramic objects, found at markets. These are also portraits of women, several of which were exhibited at Villa San Michele in 2019. Watkins also works with textiles.

Born in Nyköping in 1971, as a high school student, Liselotte Watkins Falk moved to Texas, where a distant relative lived. Through recommendations, she began studying at the Dallas Art Institute where she focused on advertising and illustration. After a period in Stockholm, she relocated to New York at the end of the 1990s and this is when her career took off. Receiving much attention for her fashion illustrations, Watkins’ clients included Miu Miu, Prada, Vogue and Elle. She has also illustrated several books, including her own fashion illustrations in Watkins’ Heroine.

After sojourns in Milan and Paris, Watkins moved to Rome where she stopped accepting commissions and began to focus entirely on her artistic practice. She has been active as an artist in Italy for a decade and for the past five years she has devoted herself exclusively to painting.

When asked if any specific artist or art historical period has inspired her, she answers: "Here in Rome and Florence, it is difficult to avoid the Renaissance and Bernini and Michelangelo, all of whom one has to relate to. I have also been very inspired by Cy Twombly (1928-2011) who lived here for many years. In Milan, it was Carla Accardi (1924-2014) and Nathalie du Pasquier (b. 1957). In Paris, I became obsessed with Picasso. New York gave me Andy Warhol and Stockholm Sigrid Hjertén".

Featuring painting and sculpture from 2018-2021, the exhibition at Millesgården Museum will be presented in the Music Room, in the Gallery, the Large Studio and in the independent building, the Small Studio.

For this exhibition Millesgården Museum has collaborated with Villa San Michele, CF Hill Gallery and the Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm.


Credits: Liselotte Watkins, La Cura, 2020, ph Sofia Johansson


Data: Da Sab 4 Set 2021 a Dom 21 Nov 2021

Orario: Dalle 11:00 alle 17:00

Organizzato da : Millesgården Museum

In collaborazione con : Italienska kulturinstitutet Stockholm

Ingresso : A pagamento


Millesgården Museum, Herserudsvägen 32, 181 50 Lid