Debut solo museum exhibition of the work of British artist Rose Wylie on view at Aspen Art Museum

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Debut solo museum exhibition of the work of British artist Rose Wylie on view at Aspen Art Museum
Rose Wylie, Jack Goes Swimming (Jack), 2013. © Rose Wylie. Image courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

ASPEN, CO.- The Aspen Art Museum is presenting the debut solo museum exhibition of the work of British artist Rose Wylie in the United States. where i am and was features fourteen monumental paintings created between the late 1990s and the present and includes works that have never before been exhibited. The exhibition also features the largest collection of Wylie’s drawings ever to be shown, with a selection of preparatory drawings, concept sketches, and other ephemera that illuminate the artist’s rigorous yet unorthodox process. First due to open on March 25, 2020, the exhibition debut was postponed due to the museum’s temporary closure in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Wylie has forged a highly distinctive visual language defined by bold colors, stylized figures, and an interplay between image and text. Her paintings explore timely concerns such as the power of celebrity and the representation of women in visual culture as seen in paintings such as Girl in Lights (2015), which features a recling female nude with her back to the viewer, and Hullo, Hullo, Following-on After the News (2017), in which a procession of armless dolls stretch across the canvas. Finding inspiration from a wide range of sources, including newspapers, art history, literature, advertisements, fashion photography, and film, Wylie fashions a version of people and events as filtered through her own memories and impressions. The artist’s paintings make use of cartoonish figures and a flattened perspective, yet also show a deep awareness of art history and painterly technique.

Drawing is an important aspect of Wylie’s practice and one the artist uses as a form of mnemonic exercise. Wylie typically produces a series of drawings from memory, each a permutation of the last. From these drawings, her paintings emerge as she selects elements from each for her final canvas. For her large-scale painting of British soccer club Aston Villa (2019) she took the compositon of the figures from Aston Villa, Two Players and Goalkeeper (2019) whilst the details of their faces were informed by her drawing Goalkeeper x 2 (2019). The result is a distinctive visual language that deftly merges social and political subjects with autobiographical elements into whimsical paintings that defy easy categorization.

Rose Wylie: where i am and was is accompanied by a fully illustrated AAM Aspen Art Press companion publication featuring texts by Nicholas Serota, art historian, curator, and former Director of Tate; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director at Serpentine Galleries; Judith Bernstein, renowned contemporary feminist visual artist; and the exhibition curator Max Weintraub.

Rose Wylie (b. 1934) studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, London and the Royal College of Art, London. Her work has been the subject of solo presentations at Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, England (2018); Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2017); Space K, Seoul (2016); Chapter, Cardiff, Wales (2016); Turner Contemporary, Margate, England (2016); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2015); Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg, Germany (2014); and Tate Britain, London (2013). Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Space K, Seoul; Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany; Tate, London; and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, among others. Wylie lives and works in Kent, England.

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