Artist Feature – Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf
“In my work I explore female identity and it’s relationship to mortality and desire. I’m interested in the experience of being a woman and the very personal, often unspoken physical realities connected with the female body; The changes and cycles women go through along with the societal pressures and stigmas connected with these.
Although I predominantly paint, continual experimentation with other mediums also plays a large part in my work. The materiality of the medium itself interests me as much as the draughtsmanship involved in figurative painting techniques. This dialectical relationship is reflected in my working method in which chance and control continually oscillate, mirroring the themes I explore in the subject matter itself.
My subjects are always women whom I know, and the dialogue between them and myself forms a central part of my practice. I incorporate their personal experiences in my paintings through the prism of the mythological themes I explore in each different series. By doing this I aim to create images that are both personal and universal at once.
In many ways the images of mythological female characters I used to draw as a child have evolved and turned into my current practice. These early explorations into idealized female identity represent the beginnings of how the female form became the primary bearer of meaning in my work; a vehicle though which to explore themes of identity, mortality and a search for meaning in itself.”
Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf is an artist of mixed European heritage who grew up between Germany and the UK. She is principally known for her figurative paintings in which she explores the implications of her female gaze. Her practice which is rooted in the traditions of portraiture, takes inspiration from Vanitas painting and mythology amongst many other sources.
Fontaine-Wolf studied Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts (2000-04) and was awarded the Chelsea Arts Club Trust Award Grant to complete her MFA at Wimbledon College of Arts (2013-15). She is Vice President to the Society of Women Artists and has exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions at venues such as the the V&A, Mall Galleries and the RCA. She’s been invited as a guest speaker for Hauser & Wirth’s ‘Herstory’ Series and her work has featured in numerous publications including Aesthetica, Forbes, the Guardian, ID/Vice, Hunger, Wonderland and FAD magazines, as well as appearing on the BBC. Fontaine-Wolf’s work can be found in public and private collections in the UK and internationally including the Standard Chartered Bank, 100 Mothers, Landmark collection and the private collections of Sir Tim Rice, the Earl of Mornington & Jemma Kidd.