'Nobody at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery'


'For A. O. / Articulations'
57.8 x 57.8cm

Nobody is a collaboration between William Tillyer and British poet Alice Oswald. Both painter and poet took their mutual inspiration from water.

"We're like two people going on a woodland walk. You wander off on your own path and then come back together again," explains Tillyer when I meet him and Oswald in The Tabernacle, a west London community arts centre, to discuss their new project.

"We're definitely not illustrating each other. We put that out of the way straight away." Oswald also testifies to their unfettered exchange. "We were corresponding for three years," she tells me when I ask her about the origins of Nobody, a book and exhibition at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London that brings together her long poem and a set of watercolours by Tillyer. (Double inspiration: William Tillyer and Alice Oswald via @financialtimes)

The watercolours are currently on show at The Bernard Jacobson Gallery and a book 'Nobody' presenting both sides of the collaboration is published by 21

Nobody is presented as part a of a special year of books and exhibitions featuring the work of Tillyer in celebration of the artist's 80th birthday in 2018

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Double inspiration: William Tillyer and Alice Oswald in the FT




'"gazing at the tortoise where it lay huddled in a corner of the dining room; glittering brightly in the half light" (1974/2018) Coloured relief and intaglio printing on Arches paper, Edition of 25, Paper size: 65.5 x 48.5 cms (25 3/4 x 19 ins), Plate size'



Bernard Jacobson Gallery is delighted to announce A Rebours, an exhibition of the new folio of 52 prints by William Tillyer inspired by Joris-Karl Huysmans' seminal 19th century novel. The folio will also be accompanied by the publication this February of a new translation of A Rebours by acclaimed author and translator, Theo Cuffe, illustrated throughout by Tillyer.

A Rebours (Against Nature) has been an enduring source of inspiration and fascination for Tillyer from his earliest practice as an artist, representing the dynamic polarity of the natural versus the contrived - and good versus evil. The tension between these opposing sides is seen repeatedly in Tillyer's work and perhaps is particularly evident in the use of metal grids in his landscape paintings.

This might seem at odds with an artist who is equally passionate about the naturalism of Constable but this contradiction is eloquently explained by the art historian, Norbert Lynton "Constable's art involved hard-won and hard-worked artifice to achieve the effect of naturalness. Huysmans's artifice is patent: ascribed to des Esseintes, it is the theme of his book" (A Rebours). Whilst Tillyer is certainly alive to the beauty of the natural world, his attempts to portray it are always firmly rooted in an understanding that all art is artifice.

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'Photography: David Markham'



"There is a simplicity to his thinking but behind the veil is a complexity and depth of thought I've seldom witnessed in the art world. It's a fascinating insight into the mind of one of this country's greatest artists."

David J Markham talks to William Tillyer for The Yorkshire Times.

read the story







Bernard Jacobson Gallery is delighted to announce William Tillyer: Radical Vision, the first of a series of exhibitions dedicated to William Tillyer. from 12th January - 3rd February

works 1956 - 2017

PREVIEW 11th January, 6 - 8 pm

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'Fallingwater, 1993'
55.9 x 76.2cm



The Fine Art Society will present a major retrospective of the painter William Tillyer, described as 'one of the finest painters working in Britain today'. The exhibition is a precursor to a series of shows to celebrate the artist's 80th birthday in 2018.

Providing a unique opportunity to consider the breadth and range of Tillyer's oeuvre, the exhibition will focus on the last forty years of his practice with over 40 works painted between 1977 and 2016. He has worked primarily in acrylic and watercolour, besides making constructions, prints and drawings.

Throughout his sixty year career, writers and critics have paid attention to William Tillyer's powerful interpretations of the landscape, yet no single category can convey the multiplicity of his work and ideas. Tillyer has been described as a romantic and as a classicist, as a traditionalist and a modernist, and the truth is that his work does not exclude any of these positions.

For sales and enquiries, please contact Gordon Cooke gordon@thefineartsociety.com or Sara Terzi sara@thefineartsociety.com

Details at thefineartsociety.com




'Wildenstein Hermitage'
274.5 x 823.5cm



This week sees the opening of a small retrospective at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

Bernard is currently writing a book about William to mark their long working relationship and the artist's 80th birthday next year. Bernard wanted to revisit pieces from earlier in William's long career and so this exhibition is a rare chance to see works from their private collections including the imposing 'Wildenstein Hermitage' 274.5 cm x 823.5cm

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'The Palmer Paintings'



"William Tillyer's show at the new Bernard Jacobson gallery (until 30 May) is a knock-out, a wild, experimental hand from an artist who deserves far more recognition. Tillyer is well into his 70s now, and his unmistakeable, cross-hatched work just gets better and better." Digby Warde-Aldam

The Palmer Paintings contines at The Bernard Jacobson Gallery until June 20th.

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'Night Rain - Kites and Echoes'



A detail of Tillyer's 1972 print 'Night Rain' has been chosen by John Metcalfe as the cover for his new album 'Kites and Echoes' with Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound.

John Metcalfe is a composer, producer, classical violist, guitarist, pioneering A&R man and arranger to A-list pop stars. John has always been a name worth seeing out, even when working in the background as an arranger for Coldplay, Peter Gabriel or Blur, his contributions are always special. His ear for timbre and his instinct for musical drama make him a good collaborator - emphatic, but never unassuming.

Tillyer's exhibition 'The Palmer Paintings' continues until June 20th at The Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

'Night Rain' 454x356mm Intaglio print on paper

John Metcalfe's Kites and Echoes