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William Turnbull

 

 

 Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull - Figure 1992

 

Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull - Head 1987

 Figure 1992

 

Head 1987

Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull - Horse 1950

 

Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull -

Horse 1950

 

Horsehead

Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull -

 

Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull - Metamorphic Venus 3 1982

Figure 1991

 

Metamorphic Venus 3 1982

Livingstone Art Founders - William Turnbull - Sculpture 1956

 

 

Sculpture 1956

 

 

 

 

 

Article provided by Grove Art Online www.groveart.com

Scottish sculptor, painter and printmaker. In the early 1950s Turnbull was involved with the Independent group at the ICA, whose lectures on recent scientific, sociological and philosophical ideas interested Turnbull.

Turnbull's early work used simple linear elements as basic signs, often implying play and movement. These were followed by paintings in which the motion of groups of figures was suggested by gestural line. The motif of the head as an object became predominant in the mid 1950s. Paintings from the period 1955 to 1957 treated the same motif with a calligraphic handling or heavy use of the palette-knife. Until 1963 his sculpture incorporated several parts in contrasting traditional materials, such as bronze, stone and wood.

He began to expunge vestigial imagery. At first he relied on almost monochromatic, heavily worked surfaces, followed by thinly painted colour fields. These were either vertically bisected or incorporated cropped discs that implied an extension beyond the canvas. Later paintings comprised quantities of colour accented by occasional diagonals or bands clinging to the edge.

Turnbull's painted steel sculptures from 1963 to 1968 often involved irregular zigzag or wavy forms. Turnbull's three-dimensional work corresponded with the concerns of the American Minimalists in its repetition or permutation of ready-made geometric units and concern for different responses to identical forms when set in a new context. Turnbull returned c. 1977 to small, modelled sculptures. These later works, while evoking his sculpture of the 1950s, were more intimate and less dauntingly imposing.

Bibliography

William Turnbull: Sculpture and Painting (exh. cat., intro. R. Morphet; London, Tate, 1973)

William Turnbull (exh. cat., London, Waddington Gals, 1981)

Livingston Art Founders - William Turnball
William's Website