William Tillyer, ‘Carthusian. The Frobisher Paintings’, 2015, Bernard Jacobson Gallery

These works are perhaps closest in intention to the very first pieces/prints The Lattice Prints from 1969-70.

The lattice-grid in these works was paramount in carrying a figurative image i.e. Birdhouse - Interior - Landscape, etc. This approach was carried through to the subsequent Metal Mesh Works 1977/78, which dealt with painting as a physical object as well as the traditional concerns of figuration and illusion.

The Frobisher Paintings, like my earlier works, dwell on the grid and the paint, which is forced to react and be controlled by the rigid grid of the mesh. If you like: the two elements of structure/grid and substance/paint are surrogates for life, and its irreversible relentless force.

In a final analysis it is of little consequence that these paintings are seen as figurative - The View From My City Window - Oranges On A Plate - Falling Sky - Landscape, etc. For me figuration is simply that part of the observed, lived world of Space, Form, and Colour, to which, out of recognition we are able to attach labels. Thus Orange Paint may well be read as Oranges.

The Metal Mesh Works 1978 attempted to deal with paint in all dimensions - top to bottom - side to side - front to back. The Frobisher Paintings 2014 again deal with that concern: of a painting being object as well as surrogate. These paintings deal with this issue in a more simple and direct way.

Between 1970 to the present day my work has addressed this same concern. The Frobisher Paintings are all square format as a reflection of the geometrical grid I use and their ultimate development would be - object; i.e. support and paint. The one piece you have at present is perhaps the most figurative and therefore closest to the Frobisher Watercolours from 2014.

However, if the Frobisher Paintings develop into Surface and Structure then they will be heirs to the Lattice Prints of the 1970s, irrespective of all the other byways my work has visited during the intervening years, where the concerns were always, as stated here.

William Tillyer, 2015

Signature: Signed (Verso).

The Artist.

About William Tillyer

William Tillyer’s approach to painting is constantly evolving. His work redefines and reinterprets classic subject matter, like landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, in methods that challenge historical traditions and vary between bodies of work. During a time in which Tillyer believes art is too often a projection of the artist, he attempts to initiate instead a dialogue between elements of paint, surface, and subject. His “Helmsley Sky Studies”, for example, are based a cloud series by 19th-century Romantic painter John Constable. Unlike the originals, which Constable controlled solely by oil paint and precise brushwork, Tillyer incorporates grids of metal lattice; as the paint conforms to the wire mesh, the focus is shared by subject and materials, thus separating it from the confines of the traditional landscape.

British, b. 1938, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom