During a summer weekend spent in Penzance, I visited Rose Wylie’s latest exhibition History Painting at the Newlyn Art Gallery.
Wylie was a late bloomer in the art world and at 84 years old but her work is certainly no pastiche. The work seems youthful and playful – it makes you smile. Although Wylie lives in a rural idyll, where vines sprout picturesquely through the kitchen roof and ceiling, she is anything but removed from the cut and thrust of contemporary culture. Scrawling messages on her paintings refer to Kate Moss, Quentin Tarantino and Nate Lowman – the New York artists and scenesters, part of the loose group once dubbed ‘Warhol’s Children’ by New York Magazine, a far cry from Kent.
At 84, Wylie still spends eight hours a day painting. Tucked away in in the belly of Penzance, the Newlyn Gallery is a clean breath of fresh air. If I was a Pirate this is definitely where I would steal my loot.