Rose Wylie's Brazil Nut Choc: a rebel watercolour without a cause
The critic-riling octogenarian artist from Kent continues to paint whatever takes her fancy
Rose Wylie's little chocolate brazil nut is round, shiny and appealing. However, it's also a provocation, a rebel watercolour likely to rile any traditionalist critics who might condemn her work as worthy of a four-year-old—as Brian Sewell once did.
The everyday subject matter is unapologetic, the rough and ready look self-conscious. The octogenarian painter from rural Kent was little known until Sienna Miller and then Germaine Greer championed her a decade ago. She depicts whatever strikes her—supermodels, arthouse cinema, things off the telly. Confectionery is a favourite.
The paintings have lightning immediacy and are big on character. As a film portrait of Wylie by the artist Ben Rivers revealed, however, they are far from quick: formal qualities are carefully debated, colours laboriously built up. Her paintings speak of the particular way we each experience the world and the challenge of communicating.
Plain and simple
Inspired by a bag of unadorned confectionery purchased in Margate by the artist's daughter, this brazil encased in plain chocolate is rich with ordinary, familiar appeal.