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Joe Tilson was born in London in 1928 and studied at St Martin’s School of Art till 1952 and the Royal College of Art where he received the Rome Prize that brought him to Italy for one year in 1955. During the 1960s Tilson became a leading of the British Pop Art movement. Thanks to his previous experience as a carpenter, Tilson realized wooden reliefs and constructions as well as prints and paintings.
His first solo exhibition was held at the Marlborough Gallery, London in 1962. Tilson’s work became worldwide famous and appreciated thanks to his participation to the XXXII Venice Biennale in 1964 and to the retrospective at the Boyman’s Museum, Rotterdam in 1964. After moving to Wiltshire in 1972, Tilson began to use more different materials as stone, straw and rope trying to transcend time and culture by drawing on the motifs of pre-Classical mythology.
In 2002 it was held a major retrospective on Joe Tilson at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He is a Royal Academician and his career was celebrated with a retrospective exhibition in 2002 at the Royal Academy ‘Joe Tilson: Pop to Present’ from April 2002.
He gave great attention to prints and multiples, realizing quality prints and assembling multiples realized with different materials. He lives and works in London.