James Westwater

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James Westwater is a British-American artist who lives and works in Texas, New York, and Europe. He was born in Salvador, Brazil and also lived in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. When he was four, Westwater's family moved to England to the medieval village of Lavenham, Suffolk, known for its period beauty and a film location for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's art short Apotheosis, Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts I and II. Westwater attended Thomas Gainsborough School and completed a foundation year in art and design at Suffolk New College in Ipswich.
Westwater moved to the industrial north of England to pursue a bachelor's degree in film and television design at Manchester Metropolitan University. His studies included graphic design, photography, film history, sociology, and psychology. He was drawn to Manchester in part by the music scene, it was the heyday of Factory Records and bands like New Order and The Smiths. After graduating, Westwater supported himself as a graphic designer and art director for 10 years in London and Los Angeles. He has also lived and worked in New Mexico, Portugal, Ireland, and Iceland.
Westwater's paintings and sculptures are in several public collections, including the Lannan Foundation, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and Museum Biedermann. His work has also been exhibited at James Kelly Contemporary, Rule Gallery, Exhibitions 2d, NavtaSchulz Gallery, Threewalls, Robert Berman Gallery, Van Brunt Gallery, Mad Dooley Gallery, Heidi Cho Gallery, SITE:Santa Fe, The Suburban, Max Fish, Lothringer Dreizehn in Munich, Kiron Espace in Paris, and elsewhere in the US and Europe.
Westwater has received awards from Robert Rauschenberg's Change, Inc., the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, and Texas A&M University. His work is included in the books Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution, by Alex Johnson, published by Frances Lincoln, London; 3-D Art/Techné, by Aline Brandauer and Jon Carver, published by Fresco Fine Art, Albuquerque; and James Westwater: Plywood Chateaux, by Steven Evans, Zane Fischer, and Ryan Schulz, published by NavtaSchulz Gallery, Chicago.
For many years, Westwater's practice centered on a single geometric shape, a straight-sided oval. He referred to this period as "a fifteen-year meditation on painting and being, creation and dissolution." In 2013, during an artist's residency at Foundation OBRAS in Portugal, he released the stricture with a body of non-oval paintings, works on paper, and installations, first shown there in the solo exhibition Finding Pegasus, followed in 2015 by Moped at Evoramonte Station and a larger exhibition Pegasus at Evoramonte Castle.
Westwater's practice is interdisciplinary and he is currently a PhD student in the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University. He divides his time between research work in Texas and exhibitions and artists' residencies in the United States and Europe. In 2014, he was an artist-in-residence at Fire Station Artists' Studios in Dublin, Ireland and Nes Artist Residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland. In 2015, he returned to Foundation OBRAS for a second residency. For 2016, Westwater's focus is on writing about the interconnectedness of architecture, art, and music.




Photo credits: Luís Branco, Lauren Camarata, Victoria Cattoni, Herb Lotz, Tom Moore, Naomi Sachs, and Glen Vigus.