Jo Holdsworth is inspired by London’s ever-changing urban landscape. Responding to observations made during time spent in the capital, Holdsworth’s paintings draw from the pace and rhythm of everyday life.
Born near Manchester into a musical and artistic household, Holdsworth's fascination with the movement and behaviour of crowds stems from the paintings of L.S. Lowry whose work she was introduced to at a young age by Lowry protégé and family friend, Pat Cooke. Other influences include early Twentieth-Century photography as well as the American realist painters George Bellows and Edward Hopper. Holdsworth cites first seeing Paul Strand’s photograph, Wall Street, 1915, as a pivotal moment, confirming to her the role of artist as onlooker.
Often depicting transitional places like city squares, highstreet footpaths and railway stations, Holdsworth is drawn to the individual in the crowd and the relationships between figures and the spaces they occupy. Her paintings combine a modernist approach to form with an almost romantic sensibility, combining a cinematic palette with loose, spontaneous brush work. She interprets the figure in long elongated silhouettes, populating her canvases with these anonymous denizens of modernity, to produce images of the city which capture the shifting moods of urban life.
Jo Holdsworth’s work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Affordable Art Fair - Hampstead, London, with NoonPowell (2019); Street Figures, 508 Gallery, London (2019); Royal Art Prize, Royal Opera Arcade Gallery and La Galleria, London (2019); People and Places, Norman Plastow Gallery, London (2018, solo); Far from the Madding Crowd, Menier Gallery, London (2018); The Sound of Art, The Sound Lounge, London (2018). Holdsworth was recently awarded the Royal Arts Prize 2019 Visitors’ Choice Award.
Jo Holdsworth currently lives and works in London.
"Her work evokes, with uncanny semblance, the comings and goings of everyday life. With seemingly effortless brush strokes and a limited colour palette, she crafts an artistic window into quintessentially British scenes". Arts & Collections
"She is a painter with a keen eye for colour and an almost cinematic appeal. The paintings are panoramic and range from striking figure paintings to modern landscapes, all painted in subtle hues".
Culture Vulture arts review
"The figures in her work, elongated and striking, dominate her oil on canvas paintings as recurrent leitmotifs. Faceless and eerie, they are denied identity. But this anonymity means each one of them could be any one of us, adding to the undeniably potent imagery of Jo's work". Arts & Collections
"Jo's paintings of figures have a particular visual richness and spontaneity". Culture Vulture arts review