Art review: Joe Tilson: A Survey

By Alex Dymoke

WHEN FIRST-GENERATION British pop artist Joe Tilson began to think about mass production techniques in the late fifties, he was unaware that a similar tide was about to turn on the other side of the Atlantic. This new survey takes a broad look at his career, from his early pop phase in the 60s to the earthier, Mediterranean-inspired paintings completed in the later stages. There is the vibrancy of American pop art, but with more of a human touch. Tilson favoured the chaos of collage over the thick, 2D orderedness of Lichtenstein. Especially in his later paintings, he offers a softer alternative to the coldly stylised works that fill the Tate’s spring blockbuster.