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Tony Tuckson

Egypt, England, Australia

18 Jan 1921 – 24 Nov 1973

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Pale yellow with charcoal lines
    Untitled (Pale yellow with charcoal lines)
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint and charcoal on hardboard
    214.0 x 122.5 cm
    Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation 2013
    20th-century galleries (ground floor)
    Accession number
    © Estate of the artist/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Tony Tuckson

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'He shows the making of a painting with all the travail fully exposed, without prettification or pretence ... there is something almost shocking in the completeness of the exposure'. James Gleeson, April 1973

    Tony Tuckson is admired as one of Australia's finest abstract expressionist painters. From the late 1950s, he used increasingly simplified forms and restricted colour to concentrate on the act of painting. While absorbing developments in European and American abstraction, and admiring the work of fellow Australian artist Ian Fairweather, Tuckson's approach may be most strongly allied to his lifelong interest in Aboriginal and Melanesian art.

    Working as Deputy Director of this Gallery from the 1950s to 1973, Tuckson painted prodigiously in private. During his lifetime, his artistic career was almost completely overshadowed by his art museum profession. His belated first solo exhibition was held in 1970 at Watters Gallery, Sydney and his second in 1973 - a few months before his premature death at the age of 52.

    Painted during this late period, this work presents a surface animated by broad, lyrical brushstrokes. Layers of paint in subdued hues have been built up on the hardboard surface. A long, narrow section of the composition is left unpainted, revealing the raw board beneath. This vertical strip, which is reminiscent of a Barnett Newman 'zip' - and which is echoed in the charcoal lines drawn upon the painted surface - brings a host of allusions into play with the painting.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 7 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 9 publications

Other works by Tony Tuckson

See all 28 works