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(1921 – 1973), Australia

Tony Tuckson Biography

Tony Tuckson was an influential Australian arts administrator and painter, advocating for serious consideration of Aboriginal art in the country’s art institutions as the deputy-director of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, and also developing a series of paintings that established his reputation as arguably the country’s best abstract artist.  

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Tuckson was born in Egypt and attended the Hornsey School of Art in London (1937-1938) and Kingston School of Art in 1939. He served in the Royal Air Force in Darwin, marrying a former design student, Dorothea Bisset and settling in Sydney and attending the East Sydney Technical (1947-1949). He became assistant-director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1950.  

Visiting Melville Island in 1958 to collect Aboriginal works of art he secured carved and painted burial-ceremony poles which were placed by the gallery’s entrance. He also curated a landmark exhibition of Aboriginal bark paintings and carvings which toured throughout Australia (1960-1961), changing perceptions about Aboriginal art.

Tuckson’s art was also transformed by the experience, painting a series of influential and expressive abstract works that revealed the influence of Aboriginal art.  

Tuckson’s work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Tony Tuckson Featured Artworks

Black on white, large upright by Tony Tuckson contemporary artwork painting
Tony TucksonBlack on white, large upright, c. 1958-61Oil on composition board
183 x 122.4 cm
Not for sale
Tarrawarra Museum of Art
Untitled by Tony Tuckson contemporary artwork painting
Tony TucksonUntitled, c. 1973Polyvinyl acetate, pigment and charcoal on composition board
181.5 x 120.8 cm
Not for sale
Tarrawarra Museum of Art
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