Tony Tuckson (1921-1973) Untitled (Green X) TP 214, c.1963
Lot 5
Tony Tuckson
(1921-1973)
Untitled (Green X) TP 214, c.1963
Sold for AU$ 79,300 (US$ 59,612) inc. premium

Lot Details
Tony Tuckson (1921-1973)
Untitled (Green X) TP 214, c.1963
inscribed 'TP 214' verso
oil on hardboard
122.0 x 122.0cm (48 1/16 x 48 1/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Ms Margaret Tuckson
    Collection of Michael Tuckson
    Watters Gallery, Sydney (label attached verso)
    Private collection, Perth, acquired from the above 2006

    EXHIBITED 

    Tony Tuckson, 1921-1973: a memorial exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 April - 9 May 1976, cat. 54 as (Green X) (label attached verso)
    Tony Tuckson paintings 1949-1970, Broken Hill City Art Gallery, 22 June - 21 July 1984, then touring; Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Gallery, New South Wales, August - October 1984, cat. 15, as No title (Green X)
    Tony Tuckson - Themes and Variations, Heide Park and Art Gallery, Melbourne, 12 May - 18 June 1989; then touring, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 June - 27 August 1989, cat. 30
    Painting Forever: Tony Tuckson, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 4 November 2000 - 4 February 2001, then touring; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Hazelhurst Gallery, Sydney; City Art Gallery, Brisbane; Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria; Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne, cat. 39, as No title (Green X)
    Tony Tuckson: Important Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney, 23 August - 16 September 2006, cat. 14

    LITERATURE 

    Tony Tuckson, 1921-1973: a memorial exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1976, cat. 54 (illus.)
    Terence Maloon, Tony Tuckson: paintings 1949-1970, Broken Hill City Art Gallery, Broken Hill, 1984, p. 24 (illus.)
    Terence Maloon, Tony Tuckson - Themes and variations, Heide Park and Art Gallery, Melbourne, 1989, p. 9 (illus.)
    Geoffrey Legge, Renée Free, Daniel Thomas, Terence Maloon, Tony Tuckson, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1989, pl. 115 (illus.), 2006 edition pl. 127 (illus.)
    Tim Fisher (ed), Painting forever: Tony Tuckson, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2000


    Tony Tuckson was in his unique way a lyrical celebrant of the sense of freedom experienced in the great Australian outdoors, as well as being a staunch advocate of Aboriginal visual culture: he founded the first collection of indigenous art ever established in an Australian state gallery.

    Among the post-World War II generation of Australian artists, Tuckson was one of several painters who rejected the sensuous, opulent qualities of oil paints. Ian Fairweather and John Olsen were similarly averse to the juicy lushness of oil paints. As with them, the parched appearance of Tuckson's paint-surfaces seemed to evoke the dryness, sparseness and scrubbiness of the Australian bush. This quality of matteness also gave his art an implicit relation to Aboriginal bark paintings (bark paintings as they once were, before Aboriginal artists began to mix their powdered ochres with a shiny acrylic binder).

    Tony Tuckson settled in Sydney in 1946. An English ex-servicemen, he completed his artistic training at the East Sydney Technical College under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme. The maturation and flowering of his art took place during the 1950s and '60s in a leafy suburb of Sydney's upper North Shore, within a glass-fronted studio facing out over a couple of acres of bushland.

    By the time he painted Green X, Tuckson's works had evolved a completely distinctive character. The vitality of touch, the feeling for composition, the radiant energy he was able to wring out of the materials at hand gave his art a unique "voice". He is generally acknowledged to be the outstanding Australian exponent of abstract expressionism – this status emphasised by the pride of place his paintings are given in National Gallery of Australia and all Australian State Galleries.

    Tuckson's paintings and drawings during the early 1950s were predominantly figurative, with their imagery celebrating conjugal love, his young family, and the pleasures of the table. It is possible to link Untitled (Green X) to the thematics of those earlier works. Indeed, a 1989 exhibition held at Heide Park and Art Gallery examined the increasing degrees of abstraction in Tuckson's paintings and drawings, and sought to show how early figurative motifs persisted in stripped-down or sublimated form in his mature abstractions. Untitled (Green X) was a classic case in point, being so obviously linked to the "family at table" theme of earlier works.

    Tuckson admired the "orderly disorder" of Bonnard's paintings depicting dining-room tables. Bonnard's off beat point-of-view, his artful cropping of the motif, and oddly "right" placements are echoed not only in Green X, but in a whole series of compositions Tuckson painted on four feet- square masonite panels around the dates of 1962-64, many of which are associated with his "Red Black and White" series.

    Terence Maloon
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