Rose Wylie (born Kent; 1943) studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, and at the Royal College of Art. Her work is centred on painting and drawing and is inspired by wide-ranging sources from antiquity to images of celebrities. Wylie paints bold and loosely-painted canvases, often working from memory and including text. Her compositions and repeated motifs recall collage and filmic framing devices. Bagdad Café is one of Wylie’s ongoing Film Notes series, depicting and distilling remembered cinematic moments which have made a visual impression on her.

 ‘Bagdad Café is one of my on-going film-series of paintings; it 'amalgams' the whole idea, rather than one particular visual shot. The preliminary drawings were done on old torn-out diary pages: they give a number-based metaphysical feel to the painting when included with the wild flowers on the left and right; while the 'disarming' girl in the middle is a 'merge' of the two main stars, Marianne Sagebrecht and CCH Pounder. The spoon, mouth and coffee suggest 'cafe'. The 'pleated white frock' is a swap for the good brown pleated suit 'Jasmin' wears in the film, and her iconic feather has morphed into the green leaf (of the very enlarged pink Convolvulous) on top of her head. This pink Convolvulous also suggests gramaphone/music and from the film, J S Bach…great, and unexpected’[1]

Wylie represented Great Britain in Women to Watch, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C, 2010. Her first retrospective exhibition was held at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, 2012, and was followed by her BP Spotlight exhibition at Tate Britain, 2013. In 2011, she was given the Paul Hamlyn Award and in 2014, she won the John Moores Painting Prize.

Lives and works Kent, England. 


[1] Rose Wylie in correspondence with Fay Blanchard, March 2016.