Born Ismailia, Egypt 1921, arrived Australia 1939, died Sydney 1973
Tony Tuckson arrived in Australia with the RAF Spitfire Squadron in 1939. He later settled in Sydney, enrolling in the East Sydney Technical College where he studied under Ralph Balson and Grace Crowley.
Tuckson began working as an assistant at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1950, and within a short time had been promoted to Deputy Director, a position he would hold for the rest of his life. Although he painted and drew constantly, his concerns regarding the conflict between his public role as curator and as an artist led him to restrict his exhibiting.
Untitled drawing #3 (multicoloured grid), reflects Tuckson’s interest in the work of Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee, and marks an experimental phase in the journey from his early figurative watercolours to the boldly gestural abstract expressionism for which he has become best known. This final phase in his art practice was in part inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock but also by Tuckson’s experiences with Indigenous artists on Melville Island while he was collecting works for the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s Indigenous collection.
Posthumously, his work has attracted strong interest and has been the subject of retrospective exhibitions including Tony Tuckson 1921–73, A Memorial Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales (1976) and Painting Forever, National Gallery of Australia and touring (2000). This work was included in Tony Tuckson – Themes and Variations, organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1989).
His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, all state and many regional galleries and universities.