Fiona Rae

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Fiona Rae
Untitled (yellow) (1990)
Born (1963-10-10) 10 October 1963 (age 52)
Hong Kong
Known for Painting
Patron(s) Charles Saatchi

Fiona Rae RA (born 10 October 1963)[1] is a British artist; she is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs) who rose to prominence in the 1990s.

Life and career[edit]

Rae was born in Hong Kong and also lived in Indonesia before moving to England in 1970. She attended Croydon College of Art to study a Foundation Course (1983–1984) and Goldsmiths College (1984–1987), where she completed a BA (Hons) Fine Art.

Young British Artist[edit]

In 1988, she participated in Freeze, an art exhibition organised by Damien Hirst in London Docklands; the exhibition helped launch a generation of artists who became known as Young British Artists or YBAs.[2]

In 1991, Rae was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, and in 1993 she was nominated for the Austrian Eliette Von Karajan Prize for Young Painters.[3]

She was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2002 and is referred to as a Royal Academician[4] allowing the use of RA after her name. In 2002 she was appointed a Tate Artist Trustee between 2005 and 2009.[5] She was commissioned by Tate Modern to create a 10-metre triptych Shadowland for the restaurant there in 2002.

In December 2011, she was appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy, one of the first two female professors since the Academy was founded in 1768.[6]

Rae is represented by Timothy Taylor Gallery, London; Buchmann Galerie, Berlin; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and The Pace Gallery, New York. Rae has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries internationally and her work is held in public and private collections worldwide. Of her work, William Corwin summarizes, "Rae’s paintings are very much objects to be admired; windows into worlds in which she is mistress, giving the viewer over to a semi-recognizable, occasionally comforting, but mostly alien dreamscape."[7]

Public collections[edit]

The Tate Collection holds five works by Rae. These are:

  • ‘Untitled (yellow)’, 1990
  • ‘Untitled (grey and brown)’, 1991
  • ‘Untitled (emergency room)’, 1996
  • ‘Night Vision', 1998
  • ‘Shadowland', 2002

Rae’s works are also held in the following collections:

  • Arts Council of Great Britain, UK
  • Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway
  • Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery; 'Dark Star', (2000)[8]
  • British Council, London, UK
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Carré d’Art - Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes, France
  • Contemporary Art Society, London, UK
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., US
  • Essl Museum - Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg, Austria
  • Fondation - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg
  • Fonds National d'Art Contemporain (FNAC), Paris, France
  • Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain d'Ile de France, France
  • Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain d’Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Fundació 'la Caixa', Barcelona, Spain
  • Government Art Collection, London, UK
  • Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum fur Gegenwart: Marx Collection, Berlin, Germany
  • The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York City
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; 'Sunburst Finish' (1997)[9]
  • Musée Départemental de Rochechouart, Haute-Vienne, France
  • Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
  • Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; 'Untitled (grey with rectangles)'[10]
  • Sintra Museum of Modern Art: The Berardo Collection, Sintra, Portugal
  • Southampton City Art Gallery, England (6/1998); Untitled[11]
  • Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK
  • Warwick University Art Collection, Warwick, UK


Following the success of 'Freeze' in 1988, Rae’s paintings have appeared in numerous solo and group shows internationally.

Solo shows include[edit]

  • 'Fiona Rae' Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (1992)
  • 'Fiona Rae' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1993–1994)
  • 'Fiona Rae', Carré d’Art Musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes, France (2002–2003)

Group Shows include[edit]

  • The British Art Show, 1990, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, Leeds City Art Gallery, Hayward Gallery, London, UK 1990;
  • Aperto, 44th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, 1990;
  • Turner Prize Exhibition 1991, Tate Gallery, London, UK;
  • Unbound, Hayward Gallery, London, 1994;
  • Nuevas Abstracciones, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, 1996;
  • Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK ; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn Museum, New York City, 1997–2000;
  • Hybrids: International Contemporary Painting, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, 2001
  • Pictograms, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany, 2006;
  • Fiction@Love, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, China, 2006;
  • Classified: Contemporary British Art from Tate Collection, Tate Britain, London, 2009


Aside from numerous exhibition catalogues, Rae’s paintings are discussed in many publications including:

  • 2012 - Fiona Rae: maybe you can live on the moon in the next century, London, UK: Ridinghouse in association with Leeds Art Gallery.[12]
  • 2010 - Pooke, Grant, Contemporary British Art: An Introduction, London, UK: Routledge
  • 2010 - Barret, Terry, Making Art: Form and Meaning, New York City: McGraw-Hill Publishers
  • 2009 - Painting Today, Tony Godfrey (ed.), London, UK, Phaidon Press
  • 2007 - Open Space: Art in the Public Realm in London 1995–2005, Jemima Montagu (ed.), London, UK, Arts Council England and Central London Partnership
  • 2007 - The Turner Prize. Revised Edition, Virginia Button, London, UK, Tate Publishing
  • 2006 - Tate Modern: The Handbook, Frances Morris (ed.), texts by Michael Craig-Martin, Andrew Marr and Sheena Wagstaff, London, UK, Tate Publishing
  • 2004 - Tate Women Artists, text by Alicia Foster, London, UK, Tate Gallery Publishing
  • 1997 - Button, Virginia, The Turner Prize, London, UK, Tate Gallery Publishing
  • 1999 - Stallabrass, Julian, High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s, Verso London and New York
  • 1996 - The 20th-Century Art Book, London, UK, Phaidon Press
  • 1996 - Morgan, Stuart, "Fiona Rae: Playing for Time", What the Butler Saw, Ian Hunt (ed.), London, UK: Durian Publications


  1. ^ Royal Academy of Arts: Fiona Rae RA | Artist | Royal Academy of Arts, accessdate: 29/08/2014
  2. ^ Young British Artists- Retrieved 2011-01-15
  3. ^ Fiona Rae biography Timothy Taylor Gallery; Retrieved 2011-01-15
  4. ^ Royal Academicians
  5. ^ "Fiona Rae: Tate Trustee". Tate. 
  6. ^ "Tracey Emin to become Professor of Drawing at RA". BBC. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Corwin, William (June 2012). "Letter from Leeds: Windows and Doors". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  8. ^ Birmingham Museum -
  9. ^ Hirshhorn Museum -Retrieved 2011-01-15
  10. ^ Royal Academy -Retrieved 2011-01-15
  11. ^ Southampton City Art Gallery
  12. ^ "Fiona Rae: maybe you can live on the moon in the next century". Ridinghouse. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 

External links[edit]