William Tucker has been creating sculptures for more than five decades and is one of the most highly esteemed sculptors of our time. In addition to his sculptural work, he is also a prolific writer on the subject of sculpture.
With Phillip King and Tim Scott, William Tucker counted among the influential group of British sculptors who were introduced as the New Generation at the eponymous exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1965. Their work provided fresh inspiration for the development of abstract sculpture as well as a far broader interpretation of the concept of sculpture. Tucker was invited to show his work at the seminal Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1966, the defining moment for American Minimal Art.
His book The Language of Sculpture, with its idiosyncratic take on modern sculpture from Degas and Rodin to Brancusi and Matisse was published in 1974 to considerable acclaim.
Tucker’s recent sculptures take the human form as their reference. Despite their figurative reference, the sculptures are not immediately decipherable or identifiable. Rather, the works open up a wide range of associations, thus achieving their intense, undeniable physicality.
His sculptures have a presence that relates to our body and so makes us more aware. As Joy Sleeman suggests in The Sculpture of William Tucker, “Tucker’s sculpture asks fundamental questions as to what sculpture is and what it can be.” (Lund Humphries/The Henry Moore Foundation, 2007).
William Tucker was born in Cairo in 1935 and lived in the UK until he moved to the United States in the early 1980s. Initially residing in New York, he later settled in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. Important sculptures from Tucker’s recent period are in the collections of, among others, the Tate Gallery in London, the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.