Our next Artist You Need To Know is a British painter known for her large, narrative scenes, often on unprimed canvas, giving them a rough immediacy.
Rose Wylie’s iconography is a melding of many subjects, from current affairs and the media, as well as ancient wall paintings, film, art history, celebrity culture and even sports references, on occasion. Her sense of space and composition is sharp, and she often will add ‘extensions’ as the painting grows, like a living thing. Her characters seem to ‘hang or walk off the side’, often rendered in a sketchy, cartoon style, and fragments of text ebb and flow within her paintings.
There’s a surreal, dreamy nature to her paintings, with disembodied and vaguely depicted elements. Her palette has been described as alternately ‘feminine’ and ‘grimy’, as she often draws and redraws and builds up lines and marks overtop each other. “The childlike quality [of my work] is difficult for some people,” Wylie has wryly commented:“They dismiss it and think I can’t draw and know nothing. But then they find that actually there’s stuff in it relating to Dürer and Cézanne—indisputable figures: Dürer, crikey! Cézanne! Then it becomes more difficult for people. I find that funny.”
Wylie (born in 1934) was a winner of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation prize for Visual Arts (2011) and a year earlier was the only non-American artist represented in the Women to Watch exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC). The Jerwood Gallery (Hastings, UK) mounted a solo exhibition of her work in 2012, and this was followed in 2013 by an exhibition at the Tate in London (UK). In September 2014, she won the John Moores Painting Prize and in February 2015 she became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. Later that same year she won the Charles Wollaston Award for “most distinguished work” in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Rose Wylie: Pink Girls, Yellow curls was held at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg (2016) and she has also had a solo show at the The Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin.
More recently, she has also been featured in solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries and her show Rose Wylie – painting a noun… was at David Zwirner Gallery (Hong Kong) in February of 2020.
Wylie has many works in private and public collections including Tate Britain, the Arts Council Collection, Jerwood Foundation, Hammer Collection, and the York Art Gallery.