AND CONSTRUCTIONS 1972 -1984
March – 27 April 2007 Private View 22
March, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Thubron (1915 – 1985) was a familiar name nationally and
internationally during the 50s and 60s. His radical and
reconstructive work in art education was legendary and many have said
that he was one of the greatest teachers this country has ever known.
He was Head of Fine Art at the Art Colleges of Sunderland (1950-55),
Leeds (1955-64) and Lancaster (1966-68).
a painter, sculptor and collagist he is less well known and perhaps
his own work as an artist was obscured by his commitment to his
teaching practice. When Thubron's involvement with teaching was at
its height in the 50s and claiming international attention for his
pioneering cross-disciplinary work, his experimental courses and his
close association with the 'Basic Design Course', it was difficult
for his own work as an artist to take precedence over the range of
his professional activities.
have been exhibitions that have afforded glimpses of Thubron's work
but the only survey undertaken was at the Serpentine in 1976 where 70
of his collages and assemblages were exhibited. The last one person
show was held, shortly after Thubron died, at Goldsmiths' College in
1986, where he had taught between 1971 and 1982.
exhibition brings together a number of collages and constructions
from the 70s and 80s. It was Thubron's most creative time, when he
lived between London and Andalusia. Southern Spain was a place which
suited his thinking and provided much of the material for his
collages and assemblages. With the help of the village children, he
scoured the wide unmade road running past his house, the CAMINO REAL,
for cans, wood, metal and paper. In the words of his wife Elma
pieces picked up along the old drovers’ road had for him
special qualities, vestiges and witness to countless generations of
human occupation and the day to day activity of living.”
Lynton describes how in Thubron’s hands these humble materials
took on “an unexpected vividness of life and expression;”
he put the materials "in relationship with another so that there
is an aesthetic marriage in which each participant celebrates the
other.” Thubron’s work is an “homage to both very
simple and very hidden things”(Martin Shuttleworth).
interested in Kurt Schwitters and Antoni Tàpies, it was the
work of Paul Klee that Thubron most admired: “no right or wrong
techniques or styles, the willingness to let things grow, without
prejudice, and the principle that what is used and done should
continue to live in the thing made” (Norbert Lynton). Just as
Thubron encouraged his students to experiment in a constructive
manner, “to exercise their intuition, to explore their own
sensibilities”(Jon Thompson), he described his own works as the
result of “emotive and imaginative experiences.” His art
served as a means of self-development and self-discovery.
Thubron’s work is represented in the collections, among others,
of the British Council, the Contemporary Art Society, the Fundacio
Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), in the Government Art Collection, the
Henry Moore Institute (Leeds) and the Tate Collection (London).
illustrated catalogue including texts by the cultural historian Jon
Thompson and the art historian, critic and curator Norbert Lynton
will accompany the show.
For further information
please contact Carlotta Graedel Matthäi.
High resolution images
are available on request
020 7242 4443 (e) email@example.com
Fine Art . Pied Bull Yard . 68-69 Great Russell
Street . WC1B 3BN London