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.Read More
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).
Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2020