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Australian art

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Four uprights, red and black

circa 1965


Tony Tuckson

Egypt, England, Australia

18 Jan 1921 - 24 Nov 1973


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.

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.


Other Title


Alternative title

TP62 (IRN: 25045)


circa 1965

Media category


Materials used

polyvinyl acetate and pigment on hardboard


122.4 x 183.2 x 2.5 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Frank Watters 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Tony Tuckson

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Renée Free, Geoffrey Legge and Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 1989, 109 (colour illus.) (plate 127), 184. 62

Renée Free, Geoffrey Legge and Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 2006, 128 (colour illus.) (plate 139), 199-200.

Terence Maloon and Tim Fisher, Painting forever: Tony Tuckson, Canberra, 2000, 45 (colour illus.), 61. 47

Denise Mimmocchi (Editor), Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 2018, 42, 66, 108-09 (colour illus.), 208, 223.

Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Sydney, 1976, 29, 44 (illus.). 67

Gavin Wilson, Escape artists - modernists in the tropics, Cairns, 1998, 140, 142 (colour illus.).

Frank’s flat: A selection from Frank Watters collection, Maitland, 2011, 27 (colour illus., detail), 33. 213