Rose Wylie in her studio, 2014
|Born||14 October 1934|
Life and work
In 2010 Wylie was the only non-American artist represented in the Women to Watch exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC. In 2012, she had a retrospective at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, followed in 2013 by an exhibition at Tate Britain, London that featured recent works.
In September 2014, she won the John Moores Painting Prize. In February 2015 she became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA Elect). In June of the same year she won the Charles Wollaston Award for "most distinguished work" in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
She has been invited to meet and talk with students in the significant artists series ‘Artists Promenades’ at the Royal College of Art and given talks on her work at The Slade, Goldsmiths, Wimbledon College of Art, The Royal Academy Schools, The Royal Drawing School, John Moores Liverpool, the ICA and Tate Britain. Wylie has work in private and public collections including Tate Britain, the Arts Council Collection, Jerwood Foundation, Hammer Collection, and York City Art Gallery. In 2016 Rose Wylie: Pink Girls, Yellow curls was held at the Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg, and she has also had a solo show at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin.
Lack of money was not a limitation to her; she and her family had strategies to overcome this, offering informal painting classes at their house and turning the garden into a place for students to camp. In a short film, Wylie says that friends of her children asked why she was always dressed in the same clothes; her reply was “as a radical non consumer, I prefer dealing with what I have.”
In 1955 when Wylie was just 21 years old, studying art in Folkestone and Dover she was painted by Anthony Devas for the Aero girl ad campaign. She describes herself as being a “rebellious art student” at the time, adding that her look was “more Brigitte Bardot than Mills & Boon cover.” It is apt that the painting is labelled, not with the true identity of the sitter, but with the fictitious advertiser’s title, Alice.
As a young woman, Wylie regularly modelled for the artist John Ward and it was whilst his friend Devas was staying with him, that she sat for this Aero commission. She knew that the portrait would appear in Rowntree's Aero adverts and by the time she was at Goldsmiths College in 1956, it had already been published in the Daily Express, News of the World and People Illustrated.
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- "The octogenarian painter whose overdue success shames ageist attitudes". The Independent. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- "Painter Rose Wylie revealed as one of the long lost Aero Girls". The National Archives blog. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2016.