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Tony Tuckson died at the early age of 52; he held only two solo exhibitions in his lifetime: the first in 1970, the second in May 1973 (both at Watters Gallery). Tuckson died six months later. At that time his stature as a painter was only vaguely known.
There are only 13 works in this exhibition, a mixture of figurative and abstract works. Tuckson’s first abstract painting, as far as can be discerned, was on newspaper, dated 3rd November 1956. This was his breakthrough into abstraction. Leading up to this breakthrough was some 3,000 figurative paintings and drawings, the result of a seven year sustained effort. This seven year’s work led over the next 18 years to the 7,000 paintings and drawings on which Tuckson’s reputation is based.
As Geoffrey Legge (director, Watters) has previously pointed out – Tuckson believed abstraction was the ultimate goal of contemporary painting and that it was necessary to undergo a rigorous apprenticeship to modern art to earn the right to paint in an ‘avant garde’ way.
The earliest works in this exhibition are the figurative works on paper from 1952-1956/7 with the latest work being an abstract on newspaper dated at 1969. 1957- 59 date the abstracts on paper with 1954-1957 the one abstract oil on canvas (TP 261) in this exhibition.
This exhibition is a very small selection from the Tuckson estate showing examples of both sides of Tuckson’s work. There will be further curated exhibitions of Tony Tuckson in the future with Rogue Pop-up gallery, this is a mere introduction.