William Tucker is an eminent British-American sculptor and art scholar, born in Cairo, Egypt in 1935 and raised in England where he attended Oxford University. He continued his sculpture training with Anthony Caro at London’s Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. His work is in the collections of major museums around the world and he has won many prestigious awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and one from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Sculpture Center Award for Distinction in Sculpture. He moved to New York City in 1978 when he began teaching at Columbia University. In 1993 her was appointed the Co-Chairman of the Art Department of Bard College. He is the author of Early Modern Sculpture, published by Oxford University Press. Tucker now lives in Williamsburg, MA and is currently teaching at the American Museum in Giverny, France.
“In the late 1970s, when I had come to live in New York but had not found a suitable place to build sculpture, Sculpture Space—which I knew then as the “Utica Steam Engine and Boiler Works,” or simply as “Utica” — provided a marvelous opportunity to realize my sculpture on large scale in steel… John von Bergen, Brower Hatcher and Richard Friedberg had already worked there and were frequent visitors. Jimmy Iritani was the technician and a helpful and enthusiastic guide to the resources of the Boiler Works and the city of Utica. I was teaching at Columbia and the New York Studio School, and whenever I could find the time I would head up to Utica to work alongside Jimmy, John McCarty and other sculptors from all over the U.S. The sense of community and dedication among the artists, the lack of distractions, and the resources of the Boiler Works all contributed to make the experience of Sculpture space one of the most fruitful periods of my career.”
Turning was built during this period in “Utica” from pitted, weathered steel with the assistance of Lee Tribe and Paul Hopmeier. It is one of a group of sculptures Tucker constructed in steel or wood in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s which explored the idea of a central void surrounded by a geometric frame — in the case of Turning, a triangle with curved sides. The spectator’s visual field is articulated by a serious of crossing elements which also stabilize the structure, making the whole, in effect, an endless rotating ladder.