William Turnbull

Untitled (aquarium)

About this artwork

This painting was probably made in London after Turnbull returned from a two-year stay in Paris. Painted in monochrome blacks and greys, the work concentrates on movement, direction and balance. It may be based on the synchronised movement of fish, as seen in an aquarium, but it could equally be seen as an exercise in abstract forms, lines carefully positioned so that their directions form a state of equilibrium. Turnbull, like his friend Paolozzi, was fascinated by the movement of fish. He also learnt much from the work of Paul Klee and Alexander Calder, both of whom maintained a light-hearted equilibrium in their work between abstract construction and natural observation.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    William TurnbullScottish (1922 - 2012)
  • title:
    Untitled (aquarium)
  • date created:
    1950
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    Canvas: 71.00 x 91.50 x 2.80 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased from the Henry and Sula Walton Fund with help from the Art Fund, 2014
  • accession number:
    GMA 5490
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • artwork photographed by:
    Antonia Reeve
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William Turnbull

William Turnbull