Thursday, 25 August 2011

Rose Wylie - part 1

This is part 1 of a 2-part post on the works of English artist Rose Wylie. At the age of 76 Rose Wylie is the ‘next big thing’, even though she’s been doing ‘her thing’ for many years now. I really like Wylie's enormous scale paintings - reminiscent of Guston and Basquiat at times, but very much her own style. The canvases, often in two parts, are just glued to the frames so that the rough edges show.

There is a lot of publicity surrounding Wylie at the moment to coincide with an upcoming exhibition at The Approach, London E2: ‘Rose Wylie and Evan Holloway’ opens 2 September until 2 October 2011.

Wylie was born in Kent, England in 1934. She attended The Royal College of Art, London from 1979-81 and Folkestone and Dover School of Art from 1952-56. She makes large-scale paintings and drawings that teem with strangely familiar characters and situations. Her inspiration comes from a dizzying array of sources, something that has led to a rather apt 'image magpie' tag in reviews. Her images are mentally rather than physically gathered before being reproduced in paint with a disarming air of naivety to produce vibrant works.

Basic primitivism gets to the nub of Wylie's subject matter, distilling it to it’s essence and celebrating it, with luxurious dabbed and stroked paint. Because of their simplified, exaggerated forms and repeated motifs her paintings and drawings often take on the appearance of animations or what she has called 'repeats'.

Wylie's subject matter is often drawn from contemporary culture: “I like working from memory, often using pin-ups, film stars, footballers etc, as they are shared contemporary gods, outside of art or religion” says Wylie. Alongside the iconic Yasser Arafat, Penelope Cruz and premier league footballers there are the personal day-to-day images such as a girl eating a chocolate biscuit. They are all there because they are part of the tapestry of visual imagery that Wylie encounters everyday – the real sharing the same space as characters in print and on film.

Her exhibitions include ‘Wear What You Like’ (solo), Transition Gallery 2008; ‘Swans Reflecting Elephants’, Kate MacGarry, London 2008; UNION, London 2006; EAST International, Norwich Gallery 2006 and ‘John Moores 16’ 1991. She was recently shortlisted for ‘Women to Watch’ 2010 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC. Her work is included in many public art collections, for example the Contemporary Art Society, Arts Council England, York City Art Gallery, Arario (Seoul, Korea) and Deal (Dallas, USA).


1993 Beggar, Cloak, Saint and Horse 
oil on canvas

1997 Loves and Marriage 
charcoal and chalk collage

1997 Princess with Earring 
oil on canvas

1998 Plastic Bride 
oil on canvas

1999 City Road 
oil on canvas

1999 Lawn Tennis 
oil on canvas

2002 Mexican Floosie 
oil on canvas

2002 Wearing a Check Skirt 
oil on canvas

2003 Cats 
oil on canvas

2003 Green Twink and Ivy 
oil on canvas

2003 H after C 
oil on canvas

2003 Italian Hats 
oil on canvas

2003 White Faces 
oil on canvas

2004 Columbine 
oil on canvas

2004 DOT and Detail 
oil on canvas

2004 Flying Witches and JM 
oil on canvas

2004 Lily and Palm Trees 
oil on canvas

2004 Manor 
oil on canvas

2004 Volcano Witch 
oil on canvas

2004-5 Chance 
oil on canvas

2004-5 Hotel Volcano 
oil on canvas

2005 Blue Helmet 
oil on canvas

2005 Pin Up and Porn Queen Jigsaw 
oil on canvas

2006 Celebrity 
oil on canvas

2006 Choco Leibnitz 
oil on canvas

2006 Egypt Air 
oil on canvas

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. I have seen her work advertised at Union Gallery and Rubbernecking. I would like to see more of her work of course. Thank you for including photo of additional work I at least haven't seen as well as a photo of the artist in her studio.
    Cheers,
    Lawrence Philp

    ReplyDelete