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Albert Tucker: Australian Gothic

  • This event finished on 10 March 2001

27 January-11 March 2001

This unique exhibition presents a full survey of the extraordinary gift of works by Albert Tucker (1914-1999) made recently by the late artist and his wife Barbara Tucker to Heide Museum of Modern Art.  Recognised among Australia’s foremost artists, Albert Tucker’s creative life during his early painting career was closely linked with Heide’s founders John and Sunday Reed.  By endowing the Museum with the core of Tucker’s personal collection, the Albert and Barbara Tucker Gift will form the basis for both the Albert Tucker Gallery and the Albert Tucker Study Room in Heide Museum’s projected new premises.

The Albert and Barbara Tucker Gift will ultimately encompass more than 200 works by Albert Tucker, including works on paper, photographs, sculptures, Albert Tucker’s library and related documents and ephemera.  This vibrant exhibition, selected by Heide’s Senior Curator Dr Ted Gott, represents every aspect of the Gift.  The Albert and Barbara Tucker Gift surveys all aspects of Tucker’s working career.

This kaleidoscopic exhibition includes fine examples of the artist’s early portraits, self-portraits and studies of Melbourne streets from the late 1930s; paintings and watercolours from his celebrated Images of Modern Evil cycle, created in response to wartime Melbourne; vignettes of Parisian street life from 1950; the vibrant ‘conflict’ and London Bus paintings of the latter 1950s; and marvellous examples of the artist’s Explorer, Bushranger and ‘Faun and Parrot’ paintings 1958-1967.  Religious compositions, images of football, lyrical Thames River landscapes, and Albert Tucker’s final portrait cycles, round out this rich and dramatic presentation.

The exhibition has been organised with the generous assistance of Lauraine Diggins Fine Art.  It has been supported by The Ian Potter Foundation’s Art Museum Collections Accessibility Initiative.


Public Programs

Sunday 28 January 3pm Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art will deliver a floor  talk on the ‘Australian Gothic’ exhibition and the life and art of Albert Tucker.

Sunday 4 February 3pm Gavin Fry, Director of Newcastle Regional Museum will discuss personal anecdotes  from his friendship with Albert Tucker in relation to works in the exhibition.

Sunday 11 February 3pm Professor Nancy Underhill, University of Queensland, is author of Making  Australian art 1916-1949 and A decisive influence: John Reed’s letters from Heide  1925-1981, Penguin end of 2001, and will share her knowledge of Albert Tucker’s art.

Sunday 18 February 3pm Richard Haese lectures in art history at La Trobe University and is the author of Rebels  and Precursors: The Revolutionary years of Australian Art 1981.  He will discuss Tucker from the perspective of a 25 year acquaintance and changing historical perceptions of the artist’s work

Sunday 25 February 3pm Gavin Fry, Director of Newcastle Regional Museum will deliver a talk about Tucker’s  fascination with the camera and his wish to use photography as a record and visual aid rather than as an extension of his art oeuvre.

Sunday 4 March 3pm Natalie Wilson, assistant curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales will discuss  the Melbourne art scene in the 1930s and 1940s and Tucker’s contribution to that period of economic hardship, political extremes and artistic wealth.


image: ALBERT TUCKER  Paris Street 1950 Heide Museum of Modern Art, gift of Barbara Tucker 2005