At the age of 78 Rose Wylie is perhaps an unlikely candidate to feature as an up-and-coming new artist to watch. She has, however, in recent years seen a blossoming critical recognition. Last year, she was the subject of a major retrospective show, Big Boys Sit in the Front, at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, and in May this year she will have an exhibition of new and recent work at Tate Britain. In 2010 Wylie was also selected as the British artist in the Women to Watch exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, which promotes underrepresented and overlooked female artists.
Wyle’s imagery references current affairs and the media, as well as a diverse range of sources including ancient wall paintings, art history and film, celebrity culture, even football. She predominantly paints on large un-stretched, un-primed canvases, working on a number of paintings simultaneously. She has an acute sense of space and composition and thinks nothing of added extensions onto her already monumental canvases to accommodate the composition as the painting develops. Figures hang or walk off the side – sometimes sketchily represented and cartoon-like – and scraps of text often slope around in the back ground. The overall composition of her work references dream like sequences, parts disembodied or imperfectly recollected. Wylie’s pallet, while remaining domestic and feminine can also often be grimy. The drawn and re-drawn layers and collaged elements gives her work an easy and yet somehow ‘exactly right’ quality.
Rose Wylie (born 1934, Kent, UK) lives and works in Kent. Wylie went to Folkestone and Dover School of Art, 1952 – 1956 and much later attained a post-graduate degree in Painting from the Royal Academy Schools London, 1979 –1981. Major forthcoming exhibitions include Rose Wylie, Seoul Museum, Seoul, October 2013 – January 2014 and Rose Wylie, Tate Britain Focus, London, May – October 2013. Selected recent solo exhibitions include a major retrospective at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, Big Boys Sit in the Front (2012); Rosemount (2011), Regina Gallery, Moscow; What with What (2010), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York and Film Notes (2010), Union Gallery, London. Selected recent group exhibitions include, The Armory Show (2012), NYC, Regina Gallery, London/Moscow; Rose Wylie, Jonathan Meese, Peter Strauss (2012), Ritter/Zamet Gallery, London; Art Basel (2011), Unions Gallery, London; 15 Years (2011), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York; Drawing 2011 Biennial Fundraiser (2011), The Drawing Room, London; Evan Holloway and Rose Wylie (2011), The Approach, London; In Dreams (2010), Timothy Taylor Gallery, London and Animated Matter (2010), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York.
Wylie is represented in numerous public collections nationally and internationally and is represented by Regina Gallery, London/Moscow, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York and Union Gallery, London.
Main Image: Rose Wylie, Queen of Sheba & JT, 2012. Oil on canvas, 182 x 342 cm. Courtesy by the artist and UNION Gallery, London