William Turnbull

Sungazer

About this artwork

Sungazer is a pivotal work in Turnbull’s career. With it, he established a new motif of one object balancing on another in equilibrium. Thereafter the artist returned to this notion of balance and the interconnection of opposite forces, repeatedly throughout his long career. The head element is a cast of a work he had made the previous year, Reclining Head. The tall, vertical element was inspired by Greek fluted columns. The surfaces of both forms are heavily scarred with vertical and horizontal lines, achieved by pressing corrugated card into wet plaster. Turnbull liked this technique because it introduced an element of chance. Sungazer was shown in the celebrated This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in August 1956, an exhibition which is often seen as the starting point of the Pop Art movement. This unique bronze cast remained in the artist’s collection until his death.  

Published November 2021

  • artist:
    William TurnbullScottish (1922 - 2012)
  • title:
    Sungazer
  • date created:
    1956
  • materials:
    Bronze
  • measurements:
    152.40 x 38.10 x 58.40 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 2017
  • accession number:
    GMA 5569
  • gallery:
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William Turnbull

William Turnbull