Artist in Lockdown Series #6 - WILLIAM TUCKER

How has lockdown affected your routine and practice?

I haven’t had much of a routine since I stopped teaching. Now there is none beyond wake up in the morning, work in the studio, take a walk, read, write, eat, listen to NPR, watch news and movies, take a nap in no particular order. No idea of what day or date it is, time seems to have stopped. 


What have you been working on today?

 I’ve been in the studio taking pictures with my phone of a small reconstruction I just made of a now lost or destroyed steel sculpture Porte VI from 1973. Last summer I made a large drawing/relief based on one view of this sculpture and I wanted to test my memory this against a reconstruction in 3 dimensions. 


Meanwhile the foundry have been working on the construction in aluminium of several of these reliefs for my upcoming drawing show in the new mezzanine space at Pangolin whenever that can open. And I just had news that my show at the Buchmann Gallery in Berlin which had closed during the lockdown has reopened. Two such drawings were cut into the gallery walls for the show.


What are you missing the most during isolation?

I miss museums, acupuncture treatments, New York, meeting friends, coffee shops, just being on the street where there are people and something is going on.


What are you doing to stay positive? 

Working. I have been working on some new  "imaginary portrait" heads in plaster  of the series I started in 1998. For the last few months I have been working on a sculpture which has become The Hunter Gracchus from the Kafka story. Photo shows work in progress, maybe 2 weeks ago. It has changed quite a bit since.


What have you been watching/reading/listening to during lockdown?

I have been reading Kafka, Yeats' late poems, especially A Bronze Head and his Autobiographies; Alice through the Looking Glass;  The Handmaid's Tale, watching and listening to the news and trying to tell the difference.

But most of my reading has been research into Matisse's early sculpture The Serf. Since I last wrote about Matisse in the 1970s there have been several great exhibitions of both his sculpture and painting and so much thoughtful writing, especially the great Hilary Spurling biography, but there are still many questions about this sculpture and the history of its making and I am determined to get something down on paper before the lockdown is lifted. And I need to see the sculpture again! As soon as they open the doors at MOMA!

May 5, 2020