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b. 1934, United Kingdom

Rose Wylie Biography

Born in 1934, Rose Wylie is a British painter known for her paintings that offer wry commentary on contemporary culture. The artist works from her studio in a 17th-century cottage in Kent, where she has lived for over 50 years.

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Wylie renders her paintings on large, unstretched and unprimed canvases. Her subject matter is first conceived through drawings on paper, which she sketches onto the canvas and revises until she is satisfied with the composition.

Rose Wylie's art references are vast, spanning popular culture, nature, and the everyday—from Antiquity and Renaissance paintings to Persian miniatures and Egyptian wall painting. Her works do not rely on their references, however, and the artist has stated that 'The painting isn't about something. I think lots of people don't understand that. They think it's the message, which it isn't. The message is the painting. The painting is the painting.'

Between 1952 and 1956, Rose Wylie attended the Folkestone and Dover School of Art, Kent, where she met her late husband, the painter Roy Oxlade. In 2015, Adolfo Doring and Claudia Baez made the documentary film, Rose & Roy, which offers a portrait of the two artists through the lens of their relationship. After her graduation in 1956, Wylie suspended her artistic practice to raise her family, and returned to study towards an MA at the Royal College of Art in London between 1979 and 1981. Four years later, Wylie held her first solo exhibition at the Trinity Arts Centre in Kent. Her first large-scale retrospective was held 27 years later, in 2012, at Jerwood Gallery in Hastings.

Over the last decade, Rose Wylie has reached international acclaim for her energetic and unruly paintings that defy academic painting traditions. In 2010, Wylie was the only non-American artist included in the exhibition Women to Watch at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and many solo exhibitions have followed. In 2017, the artist's solo exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, Rose Wylie: Quack Quack, drew from the artist's childhood memories of her time in Bayswater in Kensington during the blitz, combined with her observations of the park surrounding the gallery.

Rose Wylie was a recipient of the John Moores Painting Prize in 2014, presented by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool—the same year that she was elected as a Senior Royal Academician; and the artist received the Charles Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy of Arts in 2015. In 2018, Wylie was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Institutional solo exhibitions include; Rose Wylie: where i am and was, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2020); History Painting, Plymouth Arts Centre (2018); Hullo, Hullo, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga (2018); Rose Wylie, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016); Galleri Star: Rose Wylie, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen (2015); Pink Girls, Yellow Curls, Staedtische Galerie Wolfsburg (2014); Rose Wylie, Woof-Woof, Hauger Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Tønsberg (2013); and BP Spotlight: Rose Wylie, Tate Britain, London (2013).

Biography by Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2020

Rose Wylie Featured Artworks

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Horse, Pig & Chicken (fairy tale) by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieHorse, Pig & Chicken (fairy tale), 2009Watercolour and collage on paper
23 x 33 inches
Thomas Erben Gallery Contact Gallery
Vivienne (reading) by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieVivienne (reading), 1995Charcoal and chalk on paper
33 x 32 inches
Thomas Erben Gallery Contact Gallery
Swimig Costume&Heads by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieSwimig Costume&Heads, 2019Acrylic ink and aquarelle ink painting on pigment ink fine art print on 300grams 1584 hanemuhle laid paper
120 x 80 cm
Choi&Lager Gallery Enquire
Spnanish Look... by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieSpnanish Look..., 2019Acrylic ink and aquarelle ink painting on pigment ink fine art print on 300grams 1584 hanemuhle laid paper
120 x 80 cm
Choi&Lager Gallery Enquire
Girls in Tights by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieGirls in Tights, 2019Painting
David Zwirner
Mexican Can by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieMexican Can, 2019Painting
David Zwirner
Tale of Tales, Pink Castle (Film Notes) by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WylieTale of Tales, Pink Castle (Film Notes), 2017Oil on Canvas
183 x 165 cm
Choi&Lager Gallery Enquire
Pig Painting by Rose Wylie contemporary artwork
Rose WyliePig Painting, 2016Oil on canvas
181 x 336 cm
Choi&Lager Gallery Enquire

Rose Wylie Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 20/20 at David Zwirner, 20th Street, New York
Open Now
29 October–19 December 2020 Group Exhibition 20/20 David Zwirner20th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Lìxià at David Zwirner, Hong Kong
Closed
5 May–5 June 2020 Group Exhibition Lìxià David ZwirnerHong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Rose Wylie, Clothes I Wore at Choi&Lager Gallery, Seoul
Closed
17 January–18 February 2020 Rose Wylie Clothes I Wore Choi&Lager GallerySeoul

Rose Wylie Represented By

Choi&Lager Gallery contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea Choi&Lager Gallery Cologne, Seoul
David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong

Rose Wylie In Related Press

Rose Wylie: Quack Quack review – crude, joyous spontaneity Related Press Rose Wylie: Quack Quack review – crude, joyous spontaneity 3 December 2017, The Guardian

Grand, ungainly and defiantly young – this is the art of Rose Wylie. It is a strange and anomalous combination, especially since she is now 83. Looking at her enormous canvases, which might show a park bench, a film star surrounded by flying ears or a biscuit on its way into someone’s open mouth, you reel at the sheer directness of the painting...

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Rose Wylie review – childlike bursts of freedom and joy Related Press Rose Wylie review – childlike bursts of freedom and joy 29 November 2017, The Guardian

Memories of her own childhood well up in this strange, discombobulating, exciting exhibition. Wylie was born in 1934 and can remember the blitz. In her painting Rosemount (Coloured) the red outline of a V1 with its square wings flies over a roughed-out map of west London centred on a black silhouette of a factory with the name 'Rosemount'...

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Rose Wylie: 'I want to be known for my paintings – not because I'm old' Related Press Rose Wylie: 'I want to be known for my paintings – not because I'm old' 22 November 2017, The Guardian

Often, a painting's content is described on the canvas in blocky handwriting that is as much a part of the picture as the figures the words snake around or run into. Yet in both thinking and making, the process is slow and considered. 'You can go on for about five hours doing just one little bit. It really can be hours.' Wylie recently had a stint...

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Rose Wylie In Video & Audio

Episode 2 | Rose Wylie and Russell Tovey Related Video & Audio Episode 2 | Rose Wylie and Russell Tovey 11 July 2018, David Zwirner

A conversation about the importance of character, the value of mistakes, and painting from film. In the second pairing in David Zwirner’s Dialogues series, the critically-acclaimed painter—and recent recipient of the Queen’s OBE award—Rose Wylie talks with the actor Russell Tovey from BBC’s Being Human and HBO’s Looking. Wylie, an admirer...

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