The John Moores Painting Prize winner 2014, Rose Wylie, 82 is the subject of a major new exhibition at Turner Contemporary’s ground floor Sunley Gallery, where they will be exhibiting a group of paintings and works on paper. This display marks the first time the Sunley gallery has been used for painting. It will include seven large-scale paintings, which can be viewed at balcony and ground floor level, as well as eight works on paper.
Wylie’s bold, large-scale figurative paintings draw on ancient and folk art, such as Mexican street art and contemporary Egyptian Hajj painting, as well as art history and film. Their deliberate awkwardness, closer to the unselfconscious art of children, includes a collage-like approach in which mistakes are simply covered up with patches of cut-up canvas or paper.
The inspiration for Wylie’s paintings often comes from a particular sight or visual moment that strikes her with a “special quality” that she tries to capture through her own language of painting. The Manufacturers, for example, originated from a newspaper photograph of a public apology by toy company Mattel, whose particular symmetry and formality reminded Wylie of Spanish 16th century still-life painting.
The display also includes four works from Film Notes, a series of paintings inspired by remembered images from contemporary films. An avid and discerning film fan, her recent paintings and drawings have paid homage to directors as diverse as François Ozon, Werner Herzog, Claudia Llosa and Quentin Tarantino. Drawn to theatricality and fascinated by costume, Wylie responds to the dramatic and surreal image of a secret meeting in the desert from the film Syriana in Pink Tablecloth (Close Up) and Pink Tablecloth (Long Shot). In Bagdad Café (Film Notes) Wylie uses text to focus attention on the ‘white frock’ which is her equivalent to actor Marianne Sägebrecht’s iconic brown pleated suit and hat in the film.
Accompanying the exhibition, Wylie will discuss her exhibition and artistic practice in conversation with Telegraph art critic Alastair Sooke at Turner Contemporary on Saturday 20 February at 2.30pm. Tickets for the event are available via turnercontemporary.org/whats-on.
Rose Wylie: 12 January – 31 March 2016 Free admission