Tilson’s first one-man show was at the Marlborough Gallery in 1962, followed by an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in 1963. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1964, and has had retrospectives at the Tate Gallery in 1978, the Art Museum, Ljubljana, in 1987, and in the Sackler Galleries, Royal Academy (Joe Tilson: Pop to Present), in 2002. He was awarded the Gulbenkian Foundation Prize in 1960, the Gold Medal at the San Marino Biennale in 1963, and the Grand Prix d’Honneur, Biennale de la Gravure, Ljubljana, in 1985. Tilson became a Royal Academician in 1991.
One of the founding figures of British Pop art in the early 1960's, Tilson was an enthusiastic proponent of the hedonism, optimism and political activism that were such striking characteristics of that decade. His work embraced advances in technology, reflected the ever-increasing power of mass media and exposed changing attitudes towards sexual liberation. In the 1970's he moved to Italy and the subject matter of his work radically changed to reflect this new shift, with a new emphasis on the five elements and Greek and Roman mythology.
Tilson has been a lifelong dedicated printmaker and has gained a reputation as one of Britain's foremost artists producing prints, multiples, constructions, paintings and reliefs. His work is held in collections internationally including the Tate Gallery London, MoMA New York, and the Stedelijk Amsterdam.
In this first part I'm looking at one of Tilson's recurring themes in his work - Transparencies:
|1967 Transparency Clip-o-Matic Lips|
|1967 Transparency, Empire State Building screenprint|
|1967-68 Transparency Clip-o-Matic Lips screenprint|
|1968 Astronaut Seat E screenprint|
|1968 Made in Italy screenprint|
|1968 The Software Chart mixed media|
|1968 Transparency I, Yuri Gagarin 12 April 1961|
|1968 Transparency, Che Guevara D mixed media|
|1969 Transparecy, Clip-o-Matic Eye screenprint|
|1969 Transparency Clip-o-Matic Eye screenprint|
|1969 Transparency, Vellegrande Bolivia, October 10th screenprint|
|1969 Transparency. the Five Senses, Taste screenprint on perspex|
|1971 Snapshot screenprint|
|1971 Transparency, Clip-o-Matic Breast|