William Tillyer Season

Spring 2010

To mark the 40th anniversary of the day that William Tillyer walked into Bernard Jacobson's newly opened print gallery in Mount Street, Mayfair, carrying a portfolio of his etchings - a meeting of historic importance to the two young men - the Bernard Jacobson Gallery is proud to announce a four-part exhibition season devoted to the work of one of the most consistently challenging British artists of recent history.

5th - 27th February
The first show will look at Tillyer's extensive print output. Although his degree was in painting, he was also lucky enough to study etching under Anthony Gross at the Slade and in 1963 won a scholarship to apprentice at Stanley William Hayter's world famous Atelier 17 in Paris. Since that point printmaking has always played a significant role in Tillyer's practice, both informing and feeding from his work in other media. Relentlessly innovative, his print work covers the gamut of techniques from etching to digitally manipulated imagery.

3rd March - 3rd April
A painting retrospective will confirm his innovation. From the uncompromising, non-referential, proto-conceptualist works of the '60s to the rich organic distillations of the late '80s or the audacious theatricality of his most recent works, Tillyer has constantly defied categorisation. The show will highlight the range of his output while also illuminating the fundamental consistency of purpose that underpins this - his unceasing fascination with the physical world, his firmly held belief in the interconnectivity of opposing forces and his investigations into the nature of the art object and its role in the world.

9th April - 15th May
Tillyer is without doubt the most accomplished practitioner of that most English of art forms, the watercolour. A survey of 40 years work will demonstrate that Tillyer has rescued the medium from the world of Prince Charles and local watercolour societies and placed it as firmly in the world of contemporary art as it was for Constable and Turner.

19th May - 19th June
The final show will be the first glimpse at this artist's latest body of work. The series sees him return to his recurrent theme, the English Landscape. It will reveal an artist exploring new solutions to the problems that have occupied him for more than half a century. Coming as it does at the end of the season it will complete a portrait of a man whose relentless innovations and enduring commitment are singular, inspirational and ongoing.