William Tillyer is a celebrated British painter and watercolorist, whose work has been shown frequently in London and New York since the 1970s. He began to make radically experimental work, which raised questions about the relationship of art to the world, and of man to nature. This work in particular is from his series ‘Palmer’. Tillyer’s eponymous Palmer series refers to the romantic and visionary landscape painter Samuel Palmer (1805-1881) and can be seen as part of that same English romantic landscape tradition. The paintings are created from acrylic paint, mesh and canvas. The paint is pushed through a fine mesh creating an intricate surface, which is carefully built up and controlled by the artist. Later, when the paint has hardened, the mesh is mounted on canvas. In some works, further layers of paint are added; in others not.
This work is part of the The Interface Falling Sky Series.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, William Tillyer: The Watering Place, 11 October - 20 December 2013
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), William Tillyer: Against Nature, 25 October - 9 February 2014
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, Group Show, 3 February - 5 March 2016.
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