Rose Wylie: Lolita’s House

LONDON—Lolita’s House, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by British artist Rose Wylie will be open on April 20–May 26, 2018 at the David Zwirner’s London location. Loosely referencing a house that was constructed across the street from Wylie’s residence in Kent, England, in the 1970s in the prevalent style of the period and the neighbor’s teenage daughter who would often wash their car in the driveway, Lolita’s House continues the artist’s ongoing fascination with the shifting nature of memory and the multilayered external associations that become attached to it over time.

Rose Wylie Lolita’s House, David Zwirner
Rose Wylie, Yellow Girls I, 2017 (detail). © Rose Wylie

In the works on view, Wylie, who still lives and works in the same residence she has occupied for many years, revisits her impressions of that particular time and place several decades on. Her associative reconstructions meld fact and fiction, thus drawing her lived experience into dialogue with a web of external points of reference. As the artist notes, “The image became more potent through the multilayered exploration of how it looked; but any literary association with Nabokov’s Lolita was slight, since it was only her age and frequent visibility paraded through ‘dress’ and ‘on-view performance,’ which gave her the invented name.”

Wylie creates paintings and drawings that at first glance appear aesthetically simplistic, not seeming to align with any recognizable style or movement, but on closer inspection are revealed to be wittily observed and subtly sophisticated mediations on the nature of visual representation itself. The layers of newspaper that line her studio floor are a frequent source of material for the artist, as she encounters images by chance while working. Drawing from such wide-ranging cultural areas as film, fashion photography, literature, mythology, news images, sports, and individuals she meets in her day-to-day life, Wylie paints colorful and exuberant compositions that are uniquely recognizable. The artist has acknowledged her great admiration for Philip Guston, whose late paintings likewise make use of an idiosyncratic visual lexicon, the directness of cartoonish figures, and a flattened perspective, but simultaneously betray a deep awareness of art history and painterly conventions.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited edition artist’s zine, published by David Zwirner Books.

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