Transcending Boundaries: International Modern and Contemporary Art
Live Virtual Auction, 25 October 2023
International Modern and Contemporary Art
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
About this Item
signed, dated 1989, numbered 18/35 in pencil and embossed with a WG chopmark in the margin
Joe Tilson was born in London in 1928 and is a British painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker from 1944 to 1946, before joining the Royal Air Force from 1946 and 1949. After his National Service, he enrolled at St Martin's School of Art in London from 1949 to 1952, and later studied at the Royal College of Art from 1953 to 1955. Whilst at the Royal College of Art, Tilson was awarded the Rome Prize, which gave him the opportunity to spend time in Italy. He returned to London in 1957 and taught at St Martin's from 1958 to 1963. Tilson has also taught at the Slade School of Art, University College London, Kings College, The School of Visual Arts in New York City, and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany. Tilson is associated with the early days of British Pop Art in the 1960s. However, in the 1970s, he became disillusioned with consumer society and moved to the countryside where he found inspiration from nature, Greek mythology, and Neoplatonism.
Tilson held his first solo show at the Marlborough Gallery in London in 1962. He participated in the 32nd Venice Biennale in 1964, which was nicknamed ‘the Pop Art Biennale’ as it was the year that notably included works by Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine in the USA pavilion. He has had five retrospectives of his work: in 1971, 1979, 1984, 2002, and 2007. Despite being a nonagenarian, Tilson is still creating and exhibiting his works, with three exhibitions in 2023 at Marlborough London and Cristea Roberts. His works are in the collections of several prominent museums worldwide, including the Tate Gallery in London, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Kunsthalle Basel, among others. Tilson was elected Royal Academician in 1991 and Senior Royal Academician in 2003. He currently lives and works between London, Venice, and Cortona, Italy.