A painting: on the left is a palm tree and on the right is a camel

Palm Tree and Camel (Queen of Sheba) 2012
© Rose Wylie; Courtesy of the artist and UNION Gallery, London

A painting depicting four people dressed in green

Rose Wylie
Queen of Sheba & JT TWO ooc
© Rose Wylie; Courtesy of the artist and UNION Gallery, London

Rose Wylie (born 1934) makes large-scale paintings inspired by a wide range of visual culture. Her subject matter ranges from contemporary Egyptian Hajj wall paintings and Persian miniatures to films, news stories, celebrity gossip and her observation of daily life.

Wylie produces bold and loosely-painted canvases that are often made up of multiple panels. Her compositions and repeated motifs are informed by the cut-out techniques of collage and the framing devices of film, cartoon strips and Renaissance predella panels. Often working from memory, she distils her subjects into succinct observations, using text to give additional emphasis to her recollections.

Alongside images of footballer John Terry, the Queen of Sheba and Marilyn Monroe, Wylie paints everyday events such as a girl eating a chocolate biscuit. This display also includes a work that refers to the artist Mark Wallinger’s film Sleeper 2004–5 where he roamed Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie dressed as a bear, and paintings from her ongoing ‘Film Notes’ series. These pay homage to film directors admired by Wylie including Werner Herzog, Carlos Reygadas and Quentin Tarantino.

In weaving together imagery from different sources with elements personal to the artist, Wylie’s paintings offer a direct and wry commentary on contemporary culture.

This display has been curated by Melissa Blanchflower, Lizzie Carey-Thomas and Clarrie Wallis.