William Turnbull b.1922

 
William Turnbull is a sculptor, painter and printmaker. In the early 1950s Turnbull was involved with the Independent group at the ICA, whose lectures on recent scientific, sociological and philosophical ideas were of great interest to the artist.

Turnbull's early work used simple linear elements as basic signs, often implying play and movement. These were followed by paintings in which the motion of groups of figures was suggested by gestural line.

The motif of the head as an object became predominant in his works during the mid 1950s. From 1955 to 1957 he treated the same motif with a calligraphic handling or heavy use of the palette-knife. Until 1963 his sculpture incorporated several parts in contrasting materials, such as bronze, stone and wood.

Later in his career he began to erase vestigial imagery. At first he produced almost monochromatic, heavily worked surfaces, followed by thinly painted colour fields . These were either vertically divided or incorporated cropped discs that implied an extension beyond the canvas. Later his paintings comprised sections of colour accented by occasional diagonals or bands clinging to the edge.

Turnbull's painted steel sculptures from 1963 to 1968 often involved irregular wavy forms. Turnbull's three-dimensional work corresponded with the concerns of the American Minimalists in its repetition of ready-made geometric units and concern for different responses to identical forms when set in a new context. Turnbull returned in 1977 to small, modelled sculptures. These later works, while evoking his sculpture of the 1950s, were more intimate and less dauntingly imposing.


1922
Born in Dundee, Scotland

1939 - 1941
Worked as an illustrator for a national periodical publisher in Scotland before serving in the RAF for the rest of the war

1946 - 1948
Studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London

1948 - 1950
Lived in Paris

1952
One of the young British sculptors whose work was shown at the 26th Venice Biennale

1953 - 1961
Became Visiting Artist at the Central School of Arts and Crafts

1964 - 1972
Taught sculpture at the Central School

Lives and works in London

Selected Solo Exhibitions:


2002
William Turnbull, Galerie Thomas, Munich, Germany

2001
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1998
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London
William Turnbull, Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York

1995-6
William Turnbull, Serpentine Gallery, London

1995
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1994
William Turnbull, Galerie Sander, Darmstadt, Germany

1992
William Turnbull, Galeria Freites, Caracas, Venezuela
William Turnbull, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin, Germany

1991
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries & The Economist Plaza, London

1990
Sculpture in the Close: An Exhibition of the Works of William Turnbull, Jesus College, Cambridge

1989
William Turnbull, Arnold Herstand & Co, New York

1988-89
William Turnbull, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco

1988
William Turnbull, Tony Dintenfass, New York

1987
William Turnbull, Galerie Folker Skulima, Berlin, Germany
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1986
William Turnbull, Terry Dintenfass, New York

1985
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1984
Kim Lim & William Turnbull, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore

1983
William Turnbull, Galerie Kutter, Luxembourg

1982
William Turnbull, Waddington & Shell Fine Art, Toronto and Theo Waddington Fine Arts, New York

1981
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, LondonTurnbull, The Scottish Gallery, London

1978
William Turnbull, Waddington and Tooth Galleries, London

1976
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1974
William Turnbull, Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh, Scotland
William Turnbull, Galerie Muller, Stuttgart, Germany

1973
William Turnbull, Tate Gallery, London

1970
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1969
William Turnbull, Waddington Galleries, London

1968
William Turnbull, Hayward Gallery, London

1967-68
IX Bienal, Sao Paolo; touring across South America

1967
William Turnbull, Sculpture amd Paintingd, Waddington Galleries, London

1966
William Turnbull, Pavilion Gallery, Balboa, California, USA

1965
William Turnbull, Bennington College, Vermont, USA
William Turnbull, Gallerie Muller, Stuttgart, Germany

1963
Turnbull, Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York; Art Institute, Detroit, USA

1961
William Turnbull, Molton Gallery, London

1960
William Turnbull, Molton Gallery, London

1957
William Turnbull: New Sculpture and Paintings, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

1952
William Turnbull, Hanover Gallery, London

1950
Kenneth King, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Turnbull, Hanover Gallery, London
Collections:


Abright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Syndey
Arts Council Collection, London
The Berardo Collection, Sinatra Museum of Modern Art, Lisbon, Portugal
British Council Collection, London
David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, UCLA, Los Angeles
The Government Art Collection, London
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
Jesus College, Cambridge
Leeds Museum and Galleries, Leeds
McManus Gallery, Dundeee Museum and Art Gallery
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Standford University, Standford, California
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
Tate Gallery, London
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, New York
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada
Univeristy of Liverpool Art Collections


Selected Publications:


Davidson, Amanda, The Sculpture of William Turnbull (The Henry Moore Foundation & Lund Humphries; London, 2005)





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