- Other Titles
- No. 59: BB
- circa 1964
- Media category
- Materials used
- synthetic polymer paint on hardboard
- 121.2 x 121.2 cm board
- Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
- Bequest of Margaret Tuckson 2015
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Estate of the artist/Copyright Agency
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Tony Tuckson is widely acknowledged as Australia's pre-eminent abstract expressionist painter. From the late 1950s, Tuckson abandoned representations of the figure in his art and developed a spectacular abstract aesthetic that he worked on in various distinct phases throughout the 1960s until his death in the early 1970s. His style moved from an early calligraphic emphasis on mark making to his final sensuous and sweeping veils of paint that one critic referred to as Tuckson's own formula for the sublime.
Throughout the years of his tenure as an arts administrator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (between 1950-1973) Tuckson's painting practice was a relatively personal pursuit. So much so that when an exhibition was held of his works at Watters Gallery in 1973, his painting appeared to many as a revelation, and he was declared Australia's leading abstract expressionist painter and an 'undiscovered master'.
Tuckson's work contains the gestural hallmarks of the international movements of Abstract Expressionism and Action painting, yet they also confront us as powerfully distinct in their expressive capacities. The works of those who inspired him may have appeared more obvious in the early stages of his practice (the impact of Rauschenberg for example can be detected in his 'red, black and white' series), and yet his interpretation of twentieth century masters produced a style that was in more ways the artist's own. Tuckson's engaged study of the extraordinary heritage of Aboriginal art also led him to reconsider the formal elements of his abstraction, contributing to the highly individualised, and some argue localised, distinctions of his abstract oeuvre.
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Tony Tuckson (1970), Watters Gallery, East Sydney, 27 May 1970–13 Jun 1970
Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Apr 1976–09 May 1976
Abstract expressionism in Sydney 1956-1964, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Paddington, 07 Oct 1980–24 Oct 1980
Tony Tuckson 1921-1973: a retrospective exhibition, Pinacotheca Gallery, Australia, 13 Oct 1982–30 Oct 1982
Painting forever: The art of Tony Tuckson:
Referenced in 8 publications
Michael Fitzgerald, 'Private totems', Time (South Pacific edition), Private totems, Sydney, 11 Dec 2000, 72 (colour illus.), 73.
Renée Free, Geoffrey Legge and Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson, 'The plates', pg. 52-159, Sydney, 2006, 120 (colour illus.), 199. plate no. 125
Terence Maloon and Tim Fisher, Painting forever: Tony Tuckson, 'Plates', pg. 16-59, Canberra, 2000, 42 (colour illus.), 61. cat.no. 44
David Marr., theguardian.com.au, 'Tony Tuckson's abstract masterpieces left to Australian nation by his widow', Sydney, 03 Nov 2014, n.pag. (colour illus.). viewed 19.05.2015, http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/nov/03/tony-tucksons-abstract-masterpieces-left-to-australian-nation-by-his-widow
Peter Pinson, Abstract expressionism in Sydney 1956-1964, Sydney, 1980, 14, 28 (illus.), 23. cat.no. 28
Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, 'Catalogue to exhibition: 'Tony Tuckson 1921-1973: a retrospective exhibition' at Pinacotheca, Melbourne', pg. 29-53, Melbourne, 1982, 31, 44 (illus.). cat.no. 78
Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Sydney, 1976, 29, 44 (illus.). cat.no. 64
Watters Gallery, Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 1970, n.pag.. cat.no. 59; priced $300
Other works by Tony Tuckson
Five white lines (vertical), black ground Tony Tuckson 1970-1973 1.1996 On display – 20th-century galleries (ground floor)
White lines (vertical) on ultramarine Tony Tuckson 1970-1973 127.1976.a-b On display – 20th-century galleries (ground floor)
See all 28 works