British artist Rose Wylie (b. 1934) creates paintings and drawings that on first glance appear aesthetically simplistic, not seeming to align with any recognizable style or movement, but on closer inspection, are revealed to be wittily observed and subtly sophisticated meditations on the nature of visual representation itself. The layers of newspaper that line her studio floor are a frequent source of material for the artist, as she encounters images by chance while working. Drawing from such wide-ranging cultural arenas as film, fashion photography, literature, mythology, news images, sports, and individuals she meets in her day-to-day life, Wylie paints colorful and exuberant compositions that are uniquely recognizable. These works make use of an idiosyncratic visual lexicon, the directness of cartoonish figures, and a flattened perspective, while simultaneously betraying a deep awareness of art history and painterly conventions.
Wylie studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, Kent, and the Royal College of Art, London, from which she graduated in 1981. Her work has been the subject of renewed critical attention in recent years, including solo presentations at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2012); Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, England (2012); Tate Britain, London (2013); Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Tønsberg, Norway (2013); Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany (2014); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2015); Space K, Seoul (2016); Chapter, Cardiff (2016); and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016). In 2014, she won the John Moores Painting Prize, presented by the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; and in 2015, a painting by Wylie was included in London’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, for which she won the Charles Wollaston Award. The same year she was also elected a Senior Royal Academician.
In 2017, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, presented a major solo exhibition of Wylie’s work, which was accompanied by a catalogue featuring texts by Melissa Blanchflower and Barry Schwabsky, in addition to artists Alvaro Barrington, Tal R, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. In 2018, the multivenue exhibition History Painting opened at Plymouth Arts Centre and The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, England; the exhibition traveled to Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall, England. Also in 2018, a survey of Wylie’s work, titled Hullo, Hullo, was presented at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga.
The artist's work has been represented by the gallery since 2017. Wylie’s first exhibition at David Zwirner, London, Horse, Bird, Cat, was held in 2016 and her second solo presentation Lolita's House was on view in 2018.
Wylie’s work can be found in prominent collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Space K, Seoul; Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany; Tate, London; and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. She lives and works in Kent, England.