William Shakespeare × Rose Wylie: The Tempest

By William Shakespeare. Artwork by Rose Wylie. Introduction by Katie Kitamura

Set on a remote island, Shakespeare’s The Tempest is an ideal subject for the artist Rose Wylie, whose work frequently references classic stories and well-known characters.

Likely the last play written entirely by Shakespeare, The Tempest brings together various themes the Bard explored in his prior plays, including magic, revenge and forgiveness, order and society, and nature versus art. The shipwreck and remote island, the spirits, and the dukes and their children offer rich material for Wylie’s works on paper and canvas.

As the third title in David Zwirner Books’s Seeing Shakespeare series, this book pairs a complex narrative with equally layered works by a contemporary artist who approaches the play and art making from a unique perspective. Also included is an introduction by the writer Katie Kitamura.



Publisher: David Zwirner Books

Artists: Rose Wylie, Seeing Shakespeare

Contributors: Katie Kitamura

Designer: Sarah Schrauwen

Printer: VeronaLibri, Verona

Publication Date: 2022

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 6 × 9 in | 15.2 × 22.9 cm

Pages: 144

Reproductions: 29 illustrations

ISBN: 9781644230619

Retail: $30 | £22

Status: Available

Rose Wylie

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

Seeing Shakespeare

Seeing Shakespeare, a new series from David Zwirner Books, brings the world’s leading contemporary artists together with William Shakespeare. Featuring covers designed by the artists and illustrations throughout, these editions of Shakespeare’s plays are created with a whole new generation in mind, one of readers and art lovers alike.

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Katie Kitamura

Katie Kitamura’s most recent novel is Intimacies (2021). Her previous novel, A Separation (2017), was a finalist for the Premio von Rezzori. She has twice been a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Santa Maddalena Foundations. Her work has been translated into eighteen languages and is being adapted for film and television. She teaches in the creative writing program at New York University.