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Modern Art Oxford is presenting the first major UK exhibition of work by artist Stella Vine. The exhibition will feature her most controversial works including the paintings of Princess Diana, 'Hi Paul, can you come over...' and a portrait of heroin victim Rachel Whitear which were bought by Charles Saatchi in 2004, propelling Vine into the media spotlight. However, there is more to Vine than the sensational headlines and through the inclusion of over 100 paintings from the beginning of her career to the present day, a more rounded picture of her work will undoubtedly emerge.

Press preview: Tuesday 17 July, 11am to 1pm. Stella Vine will be available for interviews at this time.

Memory, nostalgia and fairytales are frequent themes in Vine’s work. An early painting features Snow White in her glass coffin surrounded by menacing men in top hats, while another, 'Welcome to Norwich...', shows Vine with her son and the family cat against a vividly perfect blue sky. Her mother, Ellenor, is a frequent subject, painted from family snapshots, often including Vine as a young child. Like the glamorous celebrities she is also drawn to paint, this technicolour version of the past is a form of escape for Vine, whose childhood was often troubled.

In simple, bold brushstrokes, Vine captures the essence of familiar celebrity faces. Whether it’s the young Elizabeth Taylor, a wide-eyed Pete Doherty, or reality TV lovebirds Chantelle & Preston, Vine’s loose, gestural style in vivid sweet shop colours gives us a fresh take on glamour and celebrity. Dripping paint from eyes and mouths on portraits of Kate Moss, Sylvia Plath, Princess Diana and others, disturbs the glossy paint surfaces, creating a sense of unease in the viewer and hinting at the inner turmoil of the subject.

Andrew Nairne, Director, Modern Art Oxford said: “Stella’s work is fresh, bold and original and deserves to reach a wider audience. Modern Art Oxford has a long tradition of recognising and supporting new talent. We are delighted to be working with Stella on her first major exhibition.”


Further Information and Images

Anna Cusden Kallaway
020 7221 7883 [email protected]

Sara Dewsbery Modern Art Oxford
Press Officer 01865 813813 [email protected]


Stella Vine – Biography

Stella Vine was born Melissa Robson in 1969 in Alnwick, Northumberland. Following a difficult relationship with her stepfather, she was briefly fostered at the age of 13, before leaving school at 14 and becoming pregnant with her son at the age of 16. In 1983 she joined the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and went on to work as an actress in theatres across the UK, as well as running her own improvised theatre company Minx Productions.

In 1999 Vine studied painting part time at Hampstead School of Art. She opened the Rosy Wilde gallery in 2003 in a former butchers shop in the East End to show emerging artists. Around this time, Vine's mother died suddenly which fuelled a highly creative period during which she made the first of her paintings of Princess Diana and teenage girls like Rachel Whitear who suffered tragic deaths. Many of these paintings were destroyed by Vine soon after they were made.

In 2004 Charles Saatchi purchased one of her paintings of Princess Diana 'Hi Paul, can you come over..' from an exhibition called Girl on Girl at Transition Gallery. In 2006 she
reopened the Rosy Wilde Gallery, this time in Soho.

Since then her work has been included in many exhibitions both in the UK and abroad. Solo exhibitions include: Petal, Alon Segev Gallery (TelAviv) 2004; Petal part two, Roberts & Tilton (Los Angeles) 2005; Stellawood, Hamiltons Gallery (London) 2005; Prozac and Private Views, Transition Gallery, (London) 2004; Whatever happened to Melissa Jane?, The Bailliffgate Museum, (Alnwick) 2006.

Group exhibitions include New Blood (Saatchi Gallery) London 2004; Girl on Girl (Transition) London 2003/4; The Beautiful And The Damned (Hiscox) London 2005; Chockerfuckingblocked (Jeffrey Charles Gallery) London 2003, as well as shows in Bejing, Shanghi, New York, Miami, Detroit. In 2005 Stella was invited to exhibit at the Prague Biennale.

On 5 May Stella Vine with be taking part in Gender & Culture, a panel discussion chaired by Germaine Greer at the Women’s Arts International Festival in Kendal, Cumbria (


Press contact
For further press information and images please contact Frances Arnold on 01865 813804.


Gary Hume
'The doors that unhinged the establishment.'
Alastair Sooke, The Daily Telegraph

'Some forbidding, some strangely inviting.'
Robert Clark, The Guardian

'The Door Paintings aren’t just clever non-paintings, blending the detachment of Pop Art with the rigour of Minimalism…they have powerful presence.'
Tom Lubbock, The Independent

Mircea Cantor/Ansel Adams/Katie Paterson
‘Three fantastic exhibitions.’
Jo Halstead, The Oxford Mail

Mircea Cantor
‘Cantor has a gift for bringing metaphor to life...these overlapping elements – magic carpet, gilded cage, miraculous tree – seem rooted in eastern European fairy tales but separately return you to modern reality.’
Laura Cumming, The Observer

Ansel Adams
‘Widely recognised as the greatest landscape photographer of his century.’
Benjamin Secher, Daily Telegraph

Katie Paterson
‘In an inspired pairing, Paterson shares the exhibition space with the American landscape photographer Ansel Adams…Paterson using modern technology to find the poetry in landscape that Adams captured through his camera lens.’
Tim Cooper, The Sunday Times

Trisha Donnelly
'In a world in which aesthetic comprehension so often relies on comparison and cross-reference Donnelly regularly achieves the rare feat of creating images that simply look like nothing we have ever seen before.'
Jonathan Griffin, Frieze

Stella Vine: paintings
‘Diana and her demons, Kate and cocaine, Jose Mourinho and his dog. Is any subject too raw for this notorious artist?’
Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times

‘Every brushstroke threatens disintegration.’
Extract from the catalogue foreword, Mirror, Mirror by Professor Germaine Greer

‘I can’t wait to see her Oxford show – I think she’s the real deal.’
Lynn Barber, The Observer

Seth Price/Kelley Walker/Continuous Project
'Fast, witty, scintillatingly weird.'
Laura Cumming, The Observer

'Three subversive raids on the image banks of global media.'
Robert Clark, The Guardian

Callum Innes: From Memory
'Serenely beautiful paintings by one of of the most accomplished artists working in Britain today.'
Richard Dorment, The Daily Telegraph-Review

'The huge canvases of Callum Innes are so intense, you soon find yourself in a state of meditation.'
Rachel Cooke, The Observer-Review

Daniel Buren: Intervention II, works in situ
‘Daniel Buren's triumphant return to Britain.'
Adrian Searle, The Guardian

'This show makes the case for his position as France's most eminent living artist.'
Jackie Wullschlager, The Financial Times

‘Modern Art Oxford continued its exhilarating programme of international art from Estonia to Istanbul (you saw it here first, it ought to be called).'
Laura Cumming, The Observer: The Year in the Arts 2006

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