David Zwirner presents an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by British artist Rose Wylie at the gallery’s London location.
Loosely referencing a house that was constructed across the street from Wylie’s residence in Kent, England, in the 1970s in the prevalent style of the period and the neighbor’s teenage daughter who would often wash their car in the driveway, Lolita’s House continues the artist’s ongoing fascination with the shifting nature of memory and the multilayered external associations that become attached to it over time.
In the works on view, Wylie, who still lives and works in the same residence she has occupied for many years, revisits her impressions of that particular time and place several decades on. Her associative reconstructions meld fact and fiction, thus drawing her lived experience into dialogue with a web of external points of reference. As the artist notes, “The image became more potent through the multilayered exploration of how it looked; but any literary association with Nabokov’s Lolita was slight, since it was only her age and frequent visibility paraded through ‘dress’ and ‘on-view performance,’ which gave her the invented name.”
Wylie creates paintings and drawings that at 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.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited edition artist’s zine, published by David Zwirner Books.
Rose Wylie (b. 1934) studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, London, and the Royal College of Art, London, from which she graduated in 1981. Her work has been the subject of renewed critical attention in recent years, including solo presentations at 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); and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2016). In 2015, a painting by Wylie was included in London’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, for which she won the Charles Wollaston Award. The same year she was also elected a Senior Royal Academician. In 2017, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, presented a major solo exhibition of Wylie’s work, which was accompanied by a catalogue featuring texts by Melissa Blanchflower and Barry Schwabsky, in addition to artists Alvaro Barrington, Tal R, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. In March 2018, the multi-venue exhibition History Painting: Rose Wylie opens at Plymouth Arts Centre and The Gallery of Plymouth College of Art, England, and will travel to Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange in Cornwall, England, in June 2018.
The artist’s first exhibition at David Zwirner, London, Horse, Bird, Cat, was held in 2016, and her work has been represented by the gallery since 2017. Lolita’s House is her second solo presentation at the London gallery.
Wylie’s work can be found in prominent collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Space K, Seoul; Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany; and Tate, London. She lives and works in Kent, England.