Fiona Rae

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Fiona Rae
Born (1963-10-10) 10 October 1963 (age 56)
Hong Kong
Known forPainting

Fiona Rae RA (born 10 October 1963)[1] is a Hong Kong-born British artist. She is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs) who rose to prominence in the 1990s. Throughout her career, she has been known for having a portfolio of work that includes elements of energy, and complexity. Her work is known for aiming at expanding the modern traditions of painting.[2]

Untitled (yellow) (1990)

Life and career[edit]

Rae was born in Hong Kong and also lived in Indonesia before moving to England in 1970. After moving to England she attended Downe House which is an all girls boarding school in Berkshire. She then 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.[3]

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.[4]

She was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2002 and is referred to as a Royal Academician[5] allowing the use of RA after her name. In 2002 she was appointed a Tate Artist Trustee between 2005 and 2009.[6] 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.[7]

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 summarises, "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."[8]

Public collections[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

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

  • '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)


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

  • 1996 – Morgan, Stuart, "Fiona Rae: Playing for Time", What the Butler Saw, Ian Hunt (ed.), London, UK: Durian Publications
  • 1996 – The 20th-Century Art Book, London, UK, Phaidon Press
  • 1999 – Stallabrass, Julian, High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s, Verso London and New York
  • 1997 – Button, Virginia, The Turner Prize, London, UK, Tate Gallery Publishing
  • 2004 – Tate Women Artists, text by Alicia Foster, London, UK, Tate Gallery Publishing
  • 2006 – Tate Modern: The Handbook, Frances Morris (ed.), texts by Michael Craig-Martin, Andrew Marr and Sheena Wagstaff, London, UK, Tate Publishing
  • 2007 – The Turner Prize. Revised Edition, Virginia Button, London, UK, Tate Publishing
  • 2007 – Open Space: Art in the Public Realm in London 1995–2005, Jemima Montagu (ed.), London, UK, Arts Council England and Central London Partnership
  • 2009 – Painting Today, Tony Godfrey (ed.), London, UK, Phaidon Press
  • 2010 – Barret, Terry, Making Art: Form and Meaning, New York City: McGraw-Hill Publishers
  • 2010 – Pooke, Grant, Contemporary British Art: An Introduction, London, UK: Routledge
  • 2012 – Fiona Rae: maybe you can live on the moon in the next century, London, UK: Ridinghouse in association with Leeds Art Gallery.[13]


  1. ^ Royal Academy of Arts: Fiona Rae RA | Artist | Royal Academy of Arts, accessdate: 29 August 2014
  2. ^ "Fiona Rae | Artist | Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  3. ^ Young British Artists- Retrieved 15 January 2011
  4. ^ Fiona Rae biography Timothy Taylor Gallery; Retrieved 15 January 2011
  5. ^ Royal Academicians
  6. ^ "Fiona Rae: Tate Trustee". Tate.
  7. ^ "Tracey Emin to become Professor of Drawing at RA". BBC. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  8. ^ Corwin, William (June 2012). "Letter from Leeds: Windows and Doors". The Brooklyn Rail.
  9. ^ Birmingham Museum -
  10. ^ Hirshhorn Museum -Retrieved 15 January 2011
  11. ^ Royal Academy -Retrieved 15 January 2011
  12. ^ Southampton City Art Gallery
  13. ^ "Fiona Rae: maybe you can live on the moon in the next century". Ridinghouse. Retrieved 5 August 2012.

External links[edit]