Fiona Rae

‘Fiona Rae, photo: Dan Perfect’
Fiona Rae, photo: Dan Perfect

Over the last thirty years Fiona Rae has produced a distinctive body of work rooted in a conceptual examination of the problems and possibilities of abstract painting. Rae frequently reinvigorates her practice through self-imposed strategic challenges, which have resulted in over fifteen different series of paintings to date. The paintings are improvised directly onto the canvas, establishing painterly and semiotic codes within which each visual element has an equal importance and significance in an inclusive and democratic fictive space. Known for their iconoclastic approach to subject matter and formal concerns, Fiona Rae’s paintings incarnate an abstract-pop universe, filled with references to modern and contemporary painting, pop culture, and digital technology.


Fiona Rae was born in Hong Kong in 1963. After studying at Croydon College of Art and Goldsmiths College in London, Rae took part in the groundbreaking exhibition Freeze in London’s Docklands in 1988, becoming one of the first representatives of the Young British Artists (YBAs) who were to change the British art world and beyond. In 1991, Fiona Rae was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, and in 1993 for the Austrian Eliette von Karajan Prize. Rae was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2002, and served as a Tate Artist Trustee from 2005 to 2009. The artist was appointed as the first female Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy Schools from 2011 to 2015, and in 2015 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Goldsmiths, University of London.


Fiona Rae has exhibited extensively at museums and galleries internationally, including the Carré d’Art – Musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes, France; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Leeds Art Gallery, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MoCA), China; Singapore Art Museum (SAM); Tate Britain, London, UK; Tate Liverpool, UK; Hayward Gallery, London, UK. Rae’s work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Tate Collection, London, UK; Fonds national d’art contemporain (FNAC), Paris, France; Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Mudam), Luxembourg; Fundacio La Caixa, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D. C., USA; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Germany; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D. C., USA; Albertina, Vienna, Austria.


Fiona Rae lives and works in London.