Mima announces major retrospective by Middlesbrough artist, William Tillyer this Autumn.

PUBLISHED: 14:23 24 October 2013 | UPDATED: 14:23 24 October 2013

William Tillyer
The Balcony 25, 2010
Watercolour on paper
22.75 x 30.5 inches
Image courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery

William Tillyer The Balcony 25, 2010 Watercolour on paper 22.75 x 30.5 inches Image courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery


William Tillyer: Against Nature 25 October 2013 - 9 February 2014

This autumn, mima gives over all its major gallery spaces to the work of Middlesbrough-born William Tillyer, in the largest presentation by a single artist at mima since the gallery’s opening in 2007. Tillyer’s work is held and has been shown in many museums and galleries both nationally and internationally, but his work is surprisingly little known in this country and in his home region.

mima is excited to be showing paintings, watercolours, sculptures and drawings, work which is visually sumptuous and beautiful to look at, concerned with colour, texture and form. A highlight will be 50 of Tillyer’s watercolours, many of which are rooted in the landscape of North Yorkshire as well as those made on his extensive travels around the world. The exhibition, which covers Tillyer’s 50 year career, will also include a huge digitally manipulated watercolour commissioned by mima, plus the spectacular 7 metre Skydancer, as well as lesser known early conceptual pieces. This is a major opportunity to discover and celebrate the work of an astonishingly talented artist who is admired by fellow artists, critics and collectors.

William Tillyer was born September 25, 1938, the son of a Middlesbrough hardware store owner. He was educated at the Middlesbrough College of Art before going on the study at the Slade school of Art, London and Stanley William Hayter’s renowned print workshop, Atelier 17, Paris. In 1980 Tillyer returned to North Yorkshire and has lived and worked near Middlesbrough since then.

Tillyer has lectured at universities around the world. He is represented by Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London and New York and his work is held internationally in many museum and corporate art collections including Tate, The Arts Council Collection, Museum of Modern Art New York the Hepworth Wakefield, V&A, Bank of America and Broadgate, as well as private collections including those of David Bowie and Charles Saatchi.

Tillyer’s works will be on display simultaneously across venues in the North East and Yorkshire including National Park Gallery, Danby showing a selection of watercolours, and Platform A Middlesbrough, showing sculptural pieces never previously exhibited.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks and events, including a video talk with William Tillyer in conversation with the writer and critic Mel Gooding on 25 October 12noon- 1pm. mima will also produce an exhibition catalogue to accompany the show with an essay by American poet and critic John Yau.

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