William Tucker

Beulah i


Not on display

William Tucker born 1935
Painted iron
Object: 1511 × 2661 × 1499 mm
Purchased 1973

Display caption

William Tucker said the essential quality of sculpture was ‘visibility’. By this he meant not simply that a work could be seen, but that it should actively seek to ‘meet, attract and hold our sight’.

In order to achieve this, Tucker made works that combined apparent simplicity with a complexity that was only gradually revealed. In the 1970s, his works were described as ‘impossible objects’, since they were extremely difficult to hold accurately in the memory despite their simplicity. Viewers were made aware of their own perceptual efforts to understand the form and structure of works such as this.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

William Tucker b.1935

T01818 Beulah i 1971

Not inscribed.
Painted iron,59½ x 104¾ x 59 (151 x 266 x 150).
Purchased from the Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1973.
Coll: Kasmin Gallery; Waddington Galleries; Alistair McAlpine; Waddington Galleries.
Exh: XXXVI Biennale, Venice, June–October 1972 (British Pavilion, unnumbered, repr. in colour); William Tucker. John Walker. Plastiken. Bilder. Grafiken, Hamburg Kunstverein, January–February 1973 and Museum Bochum, March–April 1973 (7,repr.); Serpentine Gallery, October 1973 (unnumbered, repr. and in colour).
Lit: Andrew Forge, in Venice Biennale catalogue (and reprinted in Serpentine Gallery catalogue); William Tucker, ‘Sculpture and Architecture: an introduction to my recent work’ in Studio International, clxxxiii, June 1972, pp.241–3 (repr.).

T01818 is the first in a series of seven sculptures to date and was made in June and July 1971.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1972–1974, London 1975.

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