Sculptor William Tucker arrives at York

Internationally renowned British-American sculptor and theorist William Tucker has joined York University’s Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, as the L.L. Odette Artist-in-Residence.

Equally at home in the studio and the lecture hall, Tucker will share with students, faculty and the general public his decades of experience and lively engagement with the art of sculpture.

William TuckerTucker will be in residence at York until May 21 and again from May 30 to June 3. During that time, he will be working in the University’s L.L. Odette Centre for Sculpture to complete his latest piece: a 600 lb. bronze casting titled The Void.

Left: Sculptor William Tucker at work

Working alongside him will be a group of 11 visual arts students enrolled in an intensive, hands-on course in foundry technique. The students will assist Tucker with his piece, observing and learning from his example. Concurrently, they will be working on their own original projects with his guidance and support.

Tucker’s residency was organized by visual arts Professor Brandon Vickerd, who has long been an admirer of his work and his integrated approach to making and teaching art. “Tucker’s theories around art-making are totally grounded in the studio experience,” Vickerd said. “We’re very fortunate to be able to offer our students the chance to work with him. The friendly give-and-take that happens in this kind of informal mentorship is a wonderful way to develop as an artist.”

The VoidThe L.L. Odette Centre for Sculpture at York is one of the finest facilities in North America for teaching and research in sculpture. Named in honour of its major benefactor, Toronto businessman and philanthropist Louis L. Odette, the centre houses a state-of-the-art ceramic-shell lost-wax bronze foundry.

Right: William Tucker – “Study for The Void” – bronze, 2004 (photo courtesy McKee Gallery, New York)

Tucker’s contributions during his residency at York are not limited to his collaborative work in the studio setting. He will also share his insights with the wider community through two public lectures.

On Thursday, Tucker will give an illustrated talk on the foundry castings of Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso (1858-1928), shedding new light on the pivotal contributions and relevance of this often-overlooked artist. The talk will be held at 8pm in Jackman Hall at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W. There will be a reception for the audience following.

Tucker will speak about his own artistic practice in an informal talk on June 1 at 11am in room 214, Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts.

Admission to both lectures is free, and everyone is welcome. For more information about the lectures, please call the Department of Visual Arts at ext. 55187.

About the artist

William TuckerTucker studied history at Oxford University and sculpture at the Central and St. Martin’s schools of art in London, where Anthony Caro was one of his teachers. He represented Britain at the 1972 Venice Biennale and was curator of the landmark exhibition The Condition of Sculpture for London’s Hayward Gallery in 1975.

Right: William Tucker

Emigrating to the US in 1978, he went on to win a Guggenheim Fellowship for Sculpture and the Sculpture Center Award for Distinction in Sculpture, among other honours. His work has been showcased in more than 60 solo and 100 group exhibitions on five continents, including London’s Tate Gallery and the Museums of Modern Art in New York, Fort Worth, Paris and Tokyo. Public collections include the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum and MOMA, New York; Washington’s Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the British Museum, London; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Among his publications is the authoritative textbook, The Language of Sculpture/Early Modern Sculpture. He co-chairs the studio art program at Bard College, New York, and is currently working on a major commission for the city of Bilbao, Spain.

Tucker’s artist-in-residency is made possible through the generous support of Louis L. Odette, the founder of the Toronto Sculpture Garden and a longstanding friend of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. This is the fourth year of the L.L. Odette Artist-in-Residency program at York.