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Australian art

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Black, yellow, blue

circa 1958-circa 1961


Tony Tuckson

Egypt, England, Australia

18 Jan 1921 - 24 Nov 1973


Tony Tuckson studied at Hornsey School of Art in London in 1937-38 and later at East Sydney Technical College after the war from 1946 to 1949. While he dutifully engaged with the principles of his academic training, Tuckson also embarked on a course of a self- directed study where he focused on the principles of European modernist painting. From the late 1940s Tuckson began applying elements of the formal languages of modern masters including Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and Dubuffet into his own practice, using their example to explore the means for establishing a new, personal idiom of abstract expression in his art. His awareness of the developments of the radical forms of abstraction in post-war American art also encouraged a sense of new freedom in his practice.

By the late 1950s, when Tuckson was shedding the last vestiges of the figure in his art, he painted 'Blue, yellow, black', a highly resolved statement of the new set of artistic aims that he had realised in his work. While one might detect the loosest trace of figurative forms in this composition, it is the densely layered 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.


Other Title



circa 1958-circa 1961

Media category


Materials used

oil on hardboard


137.0 x 122.0 cm


Edward Hamilton Stinson Fund 2017


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Tony Tuckson

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 6 publications


Renée Free, Geoffrey Legge and Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 1989, 32 (illus.), 33.

Renée Free, Geoffrey Legge and Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 2006, 31 (illus.) (figure 13), 202.

Mervyn Horton (Editor), Art and Australia (vol. 12, no. 2), Sydney, Oct 1974-Dec 1974, 162 (colour illus.).

Terence Maloon and Tim Fisher, Painting forever: Tony Tuckson, Canberra, 2000, 26 (colour illus.). 26

Denise Mimmocchi (Editor), Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 2018, 31, 87 (colour illus.), 207, 222.

Daniel Thomas AM, Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Sydney, 1976, 13, 38 (illus.). 30