William Tucker: Affinities – October 2 – November 1, 2008

Opening Reception October 2, 6-8 pm

Over the past twenty five years William Tucker has investigated the nature, structure and mass of the human body, leading to a series of sculptures more defined by their abstract appearance than any familiar shape. Their elusive
references are often seen by surprise, but once understood, the forms are indelibly recognizable.

The three large sculptures in the forthcoming exhibition convey a slightly more identifiable clue to their sources than in earlier works, but the unusual disparities of scale, ambiguous viewpoints and helpful titles encourage the viewer to analyze their affinities to those past masters who continue to intrigue and inspire the artist.

‘Chimera’ evolved from a small, broken fragment of plaster which suggested an elongated torso, distantly resembling Brancusi’s lost sculpture ‘Woman Looking into a Mirror’.

‘Odalisque’ is derived from Matisse’s ‘Seated nude’ in the Museum of Modern Art which Tucker has always admired and now sought to remake purely from memory. His decisions to reduce literal references to anatomical details
and highly exaggerate the scale allows the sculpture to assert its own powerful identity.

‘Tauromachy’ is a re-working of an existing sculpture of a hand. A subtle rotation of the form, with a few changes and additions resulted in an obscure resemblance to a charging bull. A fresh look at Goya’s bullfight etchings then inspired a series of large related drawings.

In conversation, Tucker says, “I felt connected with the art of a time when image and invention were part of the same process, and there was not a question as to representing something in reality, a bullfight or a woman looking into a mirror, but of how that image would be made, and in the making, the process — etching, carving, modeling — might release an
energy that could transcend the subject.”

The exhibition follows the release of the Sculpture of William Tucker with catalogue raisonné, by Joy Sleeman, professor of The Slade School of Fine Art and published by Lund Humphries through the support of the Henry Moore Foundation.

All sculptures will be cast in bronze.