In celebration of Joe Tilson’s 90th birthday, Marlborough is pleased to present an exhibition of the artist’s preparatory work for the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary commemoration flags. Four sets of flags designed by Royal Academicians are currently hanging the entire length of Regent Street, Piccadilly, Bond Street and Lower Regent Street. The exhibition is a rare opportunity for a short time to see Tilson’s preparatory works on paper which have never been exhibited before.
The flags depict details from The Stones of Venice series which have been enlarged. The works combine images from church facades, geometric patterns on stone flooring, and written inscriptions. In an age dominated by sleek fabrication and the ‘perfect’ finish of industrial production, Tilson’s work is defiantly handmade. Tilson’s identity as a leading figure in British Pop Art in the 1960s changed in the 1970s after his disenchantment with the promise of technology. His paintings emanate from a desire to ground himself in timeless, ancient systems of thought, and ways of making sense of the world.
As the artist enters his tenth decade these flags convey the joy he continues to experience in response to art, architecture and culture.
There will also be a display of Tilson’s prints in the Academician’s room at the Royal Academy of Arts until the end of August as well as at Alan Cristea Gallery 1 – 21 September.