'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


'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.


'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’ 454 x 356 mm, Intaglio print on paper

John Metcalfe's Kites and Echoes

Thanks to everyone who came along to the opening of The Palmer Paintings, and to everyone at The Bernard Jacobson Gallery - it's great to see these paintings hanging in their new Duke Street space.

William Tillyer - The Palmer Paintings (Clouds that Drop Fatness on the Earth) runs 1st - 30th May 2015


'Palmer XI, Clouds That Drop Fatness on The Earth, 2012, acrylic on fabric mesh, '
170.2 x 144.8cm

Tillyer's 'Palmer Paintings (Clouds that Drop Fatness on the Earth)' will be the second exhibition in The Bernard Jacobson Gallery's new space on Duke Street St James’s.

The Palmer paintings continue Tillyer’s long engagement with the English landscape and in particular his lifelong obsession with clouds. The Palmer of the title is Samuel Palmer 1805-81 the visionary British Romantic landscape painter who, like Tillyer, had an almost mystical view of man’s relationship with the landscape and who has long been an influence and inspiration for Tillyer. (The subtitle is from a line in Samuel Palmer's notebook).

Abstracted dreamlike cloudscapes bathed in a golden light, these paintings combine Tillyers’s Romantic as well as his materialist sensibilities. The paintings are produced using a unique technique whereby Tillyer pushes acrylic paint through a fabric mesh that he hangs from the ceiling of his studio. Working from behind as well as from the front he gives a third dimension to his painting, breaking through the grid-like picture plane implied by the mesh and into the real world.

In these works, according to the American poet and art critic John Yau, “Tillyer has achieved an intensity that surpasses his earlier work. He has brought the visionary insights of William Blake and Samuel Palmer into the 21st century....The Palmer paintings are apocalyptic and ravishing, sublime and mysterious.”

Tillyer has recently been working with the acclaimed British poet Alice Oswald who won the T.S. Eliot prize for poetry for her book length poem Dart which celebrates the Devon river. Sharing a similar love of the landscape and an interest in updating our ways of looking at it, Oswald has written a poem reflecting on one of the Palmer paintings to accompany the exhibition.

This will be the first exhibition in London since Tillyer was given the largest single artist exhibition at mima in Middlesbrough. The exhibition went on to become the most visited in the museum’s history.

Tillyer’s work is in many major collections worldwide including Tate and the MoMA, New York.

Bernard Jacobson Gallery’s new premises are in a converted car park in Duke Street St James’s, London, opposite the Royal Academy. Designed by Nick Gowing architects, the gallery occupies the ground and lower ground floor of an extensive, contemporary exhibition space.


William Tillyer is spending much of this year making watercolour drawings. These works on paper 'The Frobisher Watercolours' are intended as a prelude to a new group of paintings for 2015. The works on paper will be shown at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery during 2015 and the new paintings will be shown in 2016

The ‘Frobisher Watercolours’ are worked on a square format hand made paper using the paint medium ‘Vintage Watercolours’ these high quality pigments are manufactured in the U.K. by Pip Seymour Fine Art Products

'Frobisher' is part of The Barbican complex in the City of London and is Tillyer's present studio setting, providing much of the material and inspiration for the new works.

In 1974 Tillyer began making a series of etching plates illustrating the Karl Huysmans' book ‘À Rebours’. This printmaking aspect of his practice continued for a number of years, producing 50 images. Tillyer has returned to this project and is presently working on further images to complete what is envisaged to be a 100 image publication. Some of the earlier etching plates are presently being editioned by Clifton Editions in Bristol. The entire project will be completed and shown at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in 2018 celebrating Tillyer's 80th year.

Pip Seymour Fine Art Products

A Free Thinking career interview with artist William Tillyer, whose work is being celebrated in a retrospective at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art MIMA.

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