Tony Tuckson
'Watery' c.1960
Gift of Margaret Tuckson 2002
© Tony Tuckson. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

Although Tony Tuckson is now recognised as a major painter of the postwar era in Australia, during his lifetime he rarely exhibited his work and only a close circle of family and friends knew of his painting activities.

Tuckson's art underwent significant changes from his early figurative works of the 1940s and 1950s, through to his breakthrough in the late 1950s into his mature style of gestural abstraction. Watery is a quiet, atmospheric painting that belongs to a group of works known as Tuckson's 'graffiti' paintings, completed around 1960.

It has been suggested that Watery was influenced by Tuckson's excitement at viewing an exhibition of the nineteenth-century English artist J M W Turner in Sydney in 1960. Employing a loose and inquisitive line, Tuckson has allowed the paint to gently dribble and run down the canvas. The sparse and unstructured marks set against the muted blues, greys and pinks of the background evoke a sense of infinite space or watery depths.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

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