Arts Council Collection announces acquisition of Roy Oxlade

The Arts Council Collection have unveiled their 2019/20 acquisitions, which includes Roy Oxlade's 1987 work, 'Rose and Painter'.⁠


Oxlade worked across six decades to produce paintings and works on paper which were rooted in his experiences of the physical world around him. Domesticity and ritual are central to his oeuvre, which uses motifs such as scissors, jugs, lemons and lamps, which Oxlade selected for their aesthetic and functional qualities. The artist’s wife, fellow painter Rose Wylie, also appears regularly in his works.


Oxlade’s creative process was fuelled by instinct and immediacy. For him, the future of art meant going back to basics. Drawing was a critical tool, and he referred to the medium as the essence of his practice. In Rose and Painter, 1987 the figures of artist and muse are portrayed using quick, decisive brushstrokes. While creating clarity on the canvas was an important objective for Oxlade, the possibility of interpretation was also vital: ‘I have no interest in the window-on-the-world kind of painting’, he commented. As a result, the artist described his pictures as offering a synthesis of thought, feeling and poetic imagination.


Operating as a ‘museum without walls’, the Arts Council Collection is the largest national loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world, and includes important examples by all of the UK’s most prominent artists. Founded in 1946, the Collection reaches the broadest possible audience through long loans to public institutions, exhibition loanstouring exhibitions, as well as digital and print publications.