Title William Tillyer: Against the Grain
Author Norbert Lynton
ISBN 1-901785-05-X
Extent 176pp
Format 325 x 205 mm
Binding Hardcover, portrait
Price £45/US$75
Illustrations 176 colour, 24 black & white integrated
Pub date Nov-00
William Tillyer’s work has been shown frequently in London and New York since 1970. Admired by fellow artists and collectors, it has mystified critics, even those eager to praise him. Why does his work keep changing? Why does each new phase seem to contradict and undermine the last? Why doesn’t he establish a brand image and stick by it?

By looking at his output as a whole, as Lynton does here in the first comprehensive survey of Tillyer’s life and work, we can begin to understand its underlying consistency and enjoy its inventiveness. Much of his art is about the beauty of the world, of landscapes, still life and buildings; it can also be sublimely beautiful in its use of colour, brushstrokes and pictorial constructions, or dramatic in its size and contrasts. His thoughts are about how art communicates as much as what.

Norbert Lynton is the best kind of teacher: pointer in hand, he insists that we look keenly and questioningly at what is before our eyes. The revelations that reward his readers depend on an almost forensic acuteness as well as his deep understanding of modern art. In an era when outrageousness makes the art headlines, Lynton’s is a cool and measured voice. Like his subject William Tillyer, he teaches us to be artistically literate.

Artist background information:
William Tillyer was born in 1938 in Middlesborough, northern England. Trained in printmaking, Tillyer has evolved into an astonishingly diverse and talented artist. His work encompasses everything from prints to collages to watercolours to oil paintings to mixed-media constructions. He has been represented by the Bernard Jacobson Gallery since 1970, and has had numerous solo and collective shows in Britain, US, Australia and many other countries. Today he is one of Britain’s most respected artists, with a still-growing reputation.