Drawing from such wide-ranging cultural arenas as film, fashion photography, literature, mythology, history, news images, and sports, British artist Rose Wylie (b. 1934) paints colorful and exuberant compositions that are uniquely recognizable. Frequently using images as a prompt, the artist works primarily from memory, resulting in paintings and drawings that are replete with associative afterimages that remain only loosely tethered to their original referents, but tightly connected to the memories as they have developed over time. In this respect, drawing is an important aspect of Wylie's practice—once she has selected an image or topic, she typically makes numerous drawings on that theme as a kind of mnemonic exercise from which her paintings eventually emerge. Wylie's 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. The artist’s first solo exhibition took place in 1985 at the Trinity Arts Centre, in Kent. In recent years, she has had solo presentations at venues including 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); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016); Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2017); Plymouth Arts Centre and The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, England (an exhibition that traveled to Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall, England); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (2018); and The Gallery at Windsor, Vero Beach, Florida (2020).
In 2020, Rose Wylie: where i am and was, the artist’s first solo museum presentation in the United States, was on view at the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. Also in 2020, the solo exhibition Hullo Hullo Following-on was on view at the Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea In 2021, a solo exhibition of the artist's work was on view at the Museum Langmatt, Baden, Switzerland.
Wylie is the recipient of the John Moores Painting Prize, presented by the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2014), and was also elected as a Senior Royal Academician. In 2015, she received the Royal Academy of Arts’ Charles Wollaston Award. In 2018, she was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to art.
Wylie’s work can be found in prominent collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Arario Museum, Seoul; 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.
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. painting a noun…, the artist’s third solo presentation with the gallery, was on view in Hong Kong in 2020. In 2021, David Zwirner presented Which One, the artist's first solo presentation at the gallery's New York location. Wylie lives and works in Kent, England.