Painting Forever: Tony Tuckson presents, in depth, the most beautiful and representative paintings and drawings by one of Australia's greatest abstract expressionists, Tony Tuckson (1921 – 1973). It is the first major survey exhibition of Tuckson’s work since 1976 and offers a unique opportunity to both discover and reassess an important and largely unknown 20th century Australian artist.
Tony Tuckson held only two solo exhibitions towards the end of his life. His private devotion to his art and his openness to the art of others was such that this restricted painterly career produced some of the greatest expressionist painting in Australia's art history. As an abstract painter and draughtsman Tuckson always aimed to go beyond the outer appearance of things. He was interested in the qualities of radiance, energy and inner resonance - looking through the marks on the surface to feel the energy of the painting as a whole.
Within a year of graduating in Sydney on 1949, Tuckson had joined the Art Gallery of New South Wales as an attendant/cleaner. His subsequent career as an arts administrator - first as assistant to the Director and then as Deputy Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales - not only placed strictures upon his time for painting but also upon his own willingness to exhibit his work. This was largely due to his ethical reservations about having a conflict of interests. Tuckson continued to paint and draw prolifically in private. His own deep self-identification remained that of an artist rather than an arts administrator.
Painting Forever: Tony Tuckson explores one of the defining features of 20th century art - the journey towards abstraction. It seeks to balance Tuckson's most radical, extreme and beautiful late abstract paintings and drawings with early paintings and contextual material to reveal how he became and remained an abstract expressionist artist.
Curated by Tim Fisher, Painting Forever: Tony Tuckson has been strongly supported by his wife, Margaret and son, Michael. The exhibition includes works from the collections of the Tuckson family, the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Watters Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and other public and private lenders.