We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.



circa 1960


Tony Tuckson

Egypt, England, Australia

18 Jan 1921 – 24 Nov 1973

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    Abstract on hardboard no. 3; TP490; TP216b
    circa 1960
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil enamel and ochre on hardboard
    92.0 x 61.0 cm; 97.2 x 67.0 cm frame
    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
    © Estate of the artist/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Tony Tuckson

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

    'Abstract on hardboard no. 3' stylistically sits within Tuckson's early forays into pure abstraction circa 1960. On a white ground, typical of this period, Tuckson has overlaid dark, expressive calligraphic-like brushwork. While one might detect the loosest trace of writing in these marks, it is the expressive force of line, brushwork and colour that have become the true subject of art, indicating the elements that would remain at the heart of his panting henceforth. In diminishing figurative structure, Tuckson emphasised speed and density of mark making, giving a sense of an unleashing of greater inner truths through the sheer physical force of painting.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications

Other works by Tony Tuckson

See all 28 works