08-FEB-2014   -   29-MAR-2014


Choi & Lager is pleased to announce “What means something”, the first solo show of British artist Rose Wylie at the gallery. The exhibition features large-scale works, drawings and watercolours detailing Wylie’s examination of celebrity, cinema and the history of painting.

In the gallery we see the outcomes of tunburdened creative space, vast multi-part paintings, watercolours, collages and inks, drawn from Wylie’s encyclopedic knowledge. Unified in a singular field, historical ‘truths’ co-exist with celebrity culture, cinematic fictions and tabloid gossip blur, everyday observations are infused with a sense of fantasy. 

“I like a cabbage to look like a cabbage, I like a painting to look like a painting”

Wylie exhorts a form of class levelling, in her art everything is treated as a primary source, all materials are considered equal. Her work is an expression of a total aesthetic, in which ‘truth’ is what we see and experience, liberated from the annuals of history. With this mentality memory becomes a material, its fallibility a means to create.

Films pass through the filter of time, distilled down to their core components yet half remembered. In ‘Arabs’ Wylie adopts Stephen Gaghan’s movie ‘Syriana’, a complex narrative of mega corporations, political dealings, CIA agents and the succession of an Arab bloodline, boiled down to three men engulfed by a desert, resting at a table. The actors distinguished only by a votive script running along the lower portion, part religious painting, part cinematic construct.

Cinema is a fixation, its very materiality, celluloid, plays a role in Wylie’s work. One image will be de-constructed into multiple stills, another balance panorama against zoom. In two dimensions she exposes a medium primarily concerned with the fourth.

Celebrity weaves its way into Wylie’s discourse, contemporary and historical figures, Nicole Kidman on the catwalk, Henry Fredrick and sister Elizabeth Stuart, Queen on Bohemia. The paparazzi’s camera is put at odds to Robert Peak’s paintbrush, castles vs Cannes. Wylie’s art reflects our contemporary disposition towards fragmented information, articulating the tangental manner in which we negotiate an overwhelming world of information.

Rose Wylie was born in Kent in 1934. She studied at Folkstone and Dover School of Art in the mid 1950’s, returning to study at the Royal College of Art in 1981. Since then she has continued to exhibit prolifically in the UK and internationally. Recent exhibitions include the Tate Britain, London; UNION Gallery, London, 2013; the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; Philadelphia University of Arts; Regina Gallery, Moscow, 2012 and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, 2010. Rose Wylie’s work is included in many public art collections including the Tate Britain; The Jerwood Foundation; Museum of Woman in the Arts, Washington DC; Arts Council England; York City Art Gallery; Arario, South Korea and Deal, Dallas, USA. In 2011 Rose Wylie won the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Prize for Visual Arts.

In October 2014 Rose Wylie is invited to present new works in her forthcoming solo exhibition at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg in Germany.