Tucker’s innovative early sculpture presented abstract forms in painted steel or fiberglass and placed directly on the ground. Typically, his works of the 1960s consisted of repeated geometric elements assembled...
Tucker’s innovative early sculpture presented abstract forms in painted steel or fiberglass and placed directly on the ground. Typically, his works of the 1960s consisted of repeated geometric elements assembled into abstract configurations, using colour to experiment with outline and volume.
Subject and Shadow began as an experiment exploring the transition from two dimensions to three. Starting with drawing large outlines of forms on his studio wall Tucker strove to make a series of works that included a two dimensional element interacting with one in three dimensions. For over 50 years Subject & Shadow lay unresolved with Tucker unable to find a solution to how he could suspend the metal upper element over the delicate fibreglass element. Working with new technologies however unlocked the key and in 2017 Tucker worked with Pangolin Editions to resolve the issue and find a solution.
William Tucker was born in Cairo in 1935 and moved to England with his family in 1937. He studied history at Oxford University and during this time attended classes at the Ruskin School of Drawing, along with R B Kitaj, Jonathan Kingdon and John Updike. Between 1958-60 he studied sculpture at St Martin’s Schools of Art under the maverick leadership of Frank Martin and Anthony Caro. Fellow students included David Annesley, Phillip King and Michael Bolus, all of whom were included in the influential New Generation exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 1965.
In 1966 Tucker’s Meru series was included in the seminal exhibition Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum in New York and in 1972 Tucker represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. His highly successful book The Language of Sculpture was first published in 1974 and evolved from a series of lectures he gave whilst he was Gregory Fellow in Sculpture at the University of Leeds (1968-70). In the late 1970’s Tucker taught at Columbia University, and the New York Studio School. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981 and the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1986. He currently lives and works in Massachussetts, USA and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Centre in 2010.