Fiona Rae

02 Apr - 01 May 2010

Exhibition view
"Special Fear!"

April 2, 2010 - May 1, 2010

PaceWildenstein is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings from 2008 and 2009 by Fiona Rae. The paintings, which were made with oil, acrylic, and gouache on canvas, measure 52 x 44", 60 x 50", 72 x 59", and 84 x 69". This will be Rae’s second exhibition at PaceWildenstein since joining the gallery in 2005. A catalogue with an essay by Marc Glimcher will accompany the exhibition. Fiona Rae: Special Fear! will be on view at PaceWildenstein’s 32 East 57th Street gallery from April 2 through May 1, 2010. The artist will be present at an opening reception on Thursday, April 1st from 6-8 pm.

Since the early 1990s, Fiona Rae’s canvases have acted as arenas where divergent stylistic elements from seemingly dissonant sources come together within a single composition. Stylized letters, cartoon characters, brushstrokes, wild colors and poured paint hold their ground with perfect tension. “While the elements can certainly be analyzed for their stylistic origins,” Marc Glimcher explains in the catalogue essay, “they are finally just resonant images and forms which allow the artist to make use of her gift for constructing a painting. In spite of critics’ efforts to reduce the inhabitants of Rae’s painting to a semiotic flashcard, nothing could be further from the native experience of making the painting or the uncoerced experience of viewing it.”

Like the masters that precede her, Rae builds her paintings from beautifully constructed layers, one informing the next, “following what seems to be the next layer of some other painting”....“Muscular drips might serve as the under painting for a scattering of sticker-like bunny rabbits. Networks of dotted lines may follow bunnies and precede organic clumps of vegetal brushstrokes. Passionate brushstrokes are rebuffed by the delicate line drawings that preceded them.” While traditionally painters have utilized technique to both construct a painting and erase the evidence of its construction, Rae makes the process of her paintings’ construction an indelible part of the final composition. Each layer informs and controls the subsequent layer, which “brilliantly reminds us of the tactile experience of building and constructing a painting.”

Fiona Rae (b.1963, Hong Kong) received her B.F.A. from Goldsmiths College, London, in 1987. One year later, Damien Hirst invited her to exhibit in his now legendary group exhibition, Freeze, on the Surrey Docks in southeast London. In 1990 Rae’s work was included in the Aperto for young artists at the 44th Venice Biennale, and the following year, at the age of 27, the Tate Britain, London, nominated her for the Turner Prize. Rae was short listed for the Eliette von Karajan Prize for Young Painters in Austria in 1993, and in 1997, her work was selected for the Royal Academy’s notorious traveling exhibition Sensation: Young British Artists from The Saatchi Collection, which travelled internationally until 2000. Rae was elected to The Royal Academy in 2002, and the same year The Carré d'Art in Nîmes, France, mounted a large survey exhibition of her work. Rae received major commissions in 2002 and 2003 for a 10-meter triptych from the Tate Modern, and from Art Site, BBC’s Broadcasting House Public Art Program, in London. In 2005, The Tate appointed Rae to its Board of Trustees, where she served from 2005-2009. She was shortlisted for the Charles Wollaston Award at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, in 2007.

Fiona Rae’s work can be found in nearly 30 public collections worldwide, including the Arts Council of Great Britain; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, England; British Council, London; Carré d'Art, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Nîmes; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Fondation - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; Fonds National d'Art Contemporain (FNAC), Paris; Fundació ‘la Caixa’, Barcelona; Government Art Collection, London; The Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin; Museum of Modern Art, Sintra, Portugal; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria; Tate Collection, London; and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Fiona Rae currently lives and works in London.

Tags: Damien Hirst, Fiona Rae