Rose Wylie painting a noun English
Text by Michael Glover
Celebrated British painter Rose Wylie—whose works are at once tactile, cerebral, and humorous—often draws her influence from a wide range of popular culture. Here her newest body of work references memories from her own life and mimics the way memories evolve and change over time.
Wylie’s source material is culled from the vast visual world around her, ranging from sixteenth-century British estates to Serena Williams and the French Open. While initially these may seem random or aesthetically simplistic, through the nuanced use of humor, language, and compositional structure, Wylie creates wittily observed and subtly sophisticated meditations on the nature of memory, and visual representation itself, in line with the paintings she has become known for over the course of her career.
A new essay by art critic Michael Glover explores the remarkable painter whose work has “spark, assurance, brash humor, an extraordinary, freewheeling eclecticism that seems to be just as ready to suck in references to the art of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman portraiture as to pay homage to the films of Quentin Tarantino and the late paintings of Philip Guston.” Part of David Zwirner Books’s Spotlight Series, this book features Wylie’s newest paintings and drawings and is published on the occasion of the artist’s 2020 solo exhibition of these works at David Zwirner Hong Kong.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Artists: Rose Wylie, Spotlight Series
Contributors: Michael Glover
Printer: Asia One, Hong Kong
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 6 ¾ × 9 ½ in | 17.1 × 24.1 cm
Reproductions: 49 color
Retail: $35 | £25
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 mediations 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 areas 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. The artist has acknowledged her great admiration for Philip Guston, whose late paintings likewise make use of an idiosyncratic visual lexicon, the directness of cartoonish figures, and a flattened perspective, but simultaneously betray a deep awareness of art history and painterly conventions.
All Rose Wylie books
Each title in the Spotlight Series from David Zwirner Books features new work by a leading contemporary artist. Available in both English-only and bilingual English/traditional Chinese editions, this series makes the work of these important artists accessible to a wider audience.
Michael Glover is a London-based poet and art critic, and poetry editor of The Tablet. He has written regularly for The Economist, Financial Times, Independent, New Statesman, and The Times. He has also been a London correspondent for ARTnews. His latest books include Great Works: Encounters with Art (2016), Hypothetical May Morning (2018), Late Days (2018), The Book of Extremities (2019), Neo Rauch (2019), and Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial History of the Codpiece (2019).