Joe Tilson, ‘"CULTURE CARRIERS STAMP OUT ART" (SIGNED) from the Collection of Art Critic Anthony Haden-Guest’, 1971, Alpha 137 Gallery
Joe Tilson, ‘"CULTURE CARRIERS STAMP OUT ART" (SIGNED) from the Collection of Art Critic Anthony Haden-Guest’, 1971, Alpha 137 Gallery

As a consequence of the prolonged strike by the Royal Mail postal workers in the United Kingdom, Joe Tilson along with a group of top British Pop artists of the era including David Hockney, Allen Jones, Derek Boshier, (famed poet) Christopher Logue and Richard Hamilton, published ''Culture Carriers Stamp Out Art''to raise funds for the striking workers. The "stamps" were published in a limited edition of only 250 each (some artists, like Paolozzi and Allen Jones created more than one design), with the artists signing each by hand in blue ink with their initials on the lower left. The stamp itself measures 2.5 by 2.25 inches, and it is affixed to a franked (postmarked) International Airmail envelope which measures 4.25 inches by 8.6 inches, bearing the stamped text "Culture Carriers 23 Feb 1971" on the top left, and the stamp "CULTURE CARRIERS STAMP OUT ART" on the lower left (front). and the stamp "STRIKE ISSUE" lower right front of the envelope. Very desirable as an ensemble. these were known as The Post Office Worker's Strike Commemoration Stamps. This particular piece has superb and interesting provenance, as it came from the private collection of the American art critic Anthony Haden-Guest. As additional provenance, we will furnish the buyer with a xerox copy of the receipt from Flair Magazine, and a list of buyers of the stamps -- as Haden-Guest was apparently tasked with collecting funds from collectors for their purchased works through Flair magazine.

This will look terrific when framed. An unusual and memorable gift for any Joe Tilson fan - and a great piece of art historical ephemera. A veritable piece of 1970s British Pop (and Royal Mail) - history!

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Signature: Signed in ink by Joe Tilson with his initials on the lower left of the lithographic stamp, affixed to the envelope. The artwork consists not just of the signed, limited edition Tilson postage "stamp", but also the franked Airmail envelope, which it is affixed to, with the stamps as described above. The entire mixed media piece is far more desirable than the stamp alone.

From the private collection of art critic Anthony Haden-Guest, who was tasked with selling some of these to collectors on behalf of Flair magazine

About Joe Tilson

An early experimenter with printmaking in the 1960s, Joe Tilson works to unsettle the tension between serialized production and an artwork’s status as unique. Tilson excelled as a craftsman from an early point in his life. He first worked in a realist style during the 1950s, but adopted the commercial sheen of pop art in the 1960s. Tilson began creating prints during this decade, using consumer imagery, yet his work retained a handmade quality. He painted directly on the prints, making unique pieces from editioned series. The artist also added sculptural elements to his work, blurring the distinction between two- and three-dimensional space and disregarding any medium-specific hierarchies. His art later evolved away from pop content to address mythology and rural living, but Tilson has maintained the same interest in the handmade throughout his career.

British, b. 1928, London, United Kingdom