OXFORD, UK.- Modern Art Oxford will present Stella Vine: Paintings, on view July 17 – September 23, 2007. Modern Art Oxford is presenting the first major UK exhibition of work by artist Stella Vine. The exhibition will feature her most controversial works including the paintings of Princess Diana, 'Hi Paul, can you come over...' and a portrait of heroin victim Rachel Whitear which were bought by Charles Saatchi in 2004, propelling Vine into the media spotlight. However, there is more to Vine than the sensational headlines and through the inclusion of over 100 paintings from the beginning of her career to the present day, a more rounded picture of her work will undoubtedly emerge.
Memory, nostalgia and fairytales are frequent themes in Vine’s work. An early painting features Snow White in her glass coffin surrounded by menacing men in top hats, while another, 'Welcome to Norwich...', shows Vine with her son and the family cat against a vividly perfect blue sky. Her mother, Ellenor, is a frequent subject, painted from family snapshots, often including Vine as a young child. Like the glamorous celebrities she is also drawn to paint, this technicolour version of the past is a form of escape for Vine, whose childhood was often troubled.
In simple, bold brushstrokes, Vine captures the essence of familiar celebrity faces. Whether it’s the young Elizabeth Taylor, a wide-eyed Pete Doherty, or reality TV lovebirds Chantelle & Preston, Vine’s loose, gestural style in vivid sweet shop colours gives us a fresh take on glamour and celebrity. Dripping paint from eyes and mouths on portraits of Kate Moss, Sylvia Plath, Princess Diana and others, disturbs the glossy paint surfaces, creating a sense of unease in the viewer and hinting at the inner turmoil of the subject.
Andrew Nairne, Director, Modern Art Oxford said: “Stella’s work is fresh, bold and original and deserves to reach a wider audience. Modern Art Oxford has a long tradition of recognising and supporting new talent. We are delighted to be working with Stella on her first major exhibition.”