William Turnbull b. 1922
T01524 No.1 1959 1958–59
Inscribed on canvas turnover at top ‘ 1–1959 “YANG” Turnbull’, and on reverse of canvas ‘Turnbull/1958/–59’.
Canvas, 70 x 70 (178 x 178).
Purchased from the artist through the Waddington Galleries (Grant-in- Aid) 1972.
Lit: Lawrence Alloway ‘The Sculpture and Painting of William Turnbull’, in Art International, V, February 1961, pp. 46–52.
In the late 1950’s, Turnbull was seeking ways of painting in which the act of painting and the spectator’s experience of the work should be as direct as possible, untrammeled by secondary associations. For his purposes the principal contemporary modes of British and European art were unsatisfactory in that they seemed to be based either on the representation of an object in a field or on some kind of positive/ negative juggling. To Turnbull, it seemed necessary somehow to eliminate shape-making (which necessarily involved eliminating a linear structure). In the late 1950’s, he felt a, positive revulsion from putting any shape in a picture…