This work belongs to a series of nine drawings of walking figures William Turnbull made in 1988 and 1989. It’s a subject which Turnbull returned to periodically throughout his career, having first made drawings of figures in motion, such as acrobats and cyclists, when living in Paris in 1948-1950. While in Paris, Turnbull was particularly fascinated by the depiction of movement where his sculptures comprised spindly forms suggesting bicycle wheels, objects which looked like board games and several hanging mobiles.
After Turnbull returned to London in the early 1950s, he made a number of further drawings, paintings and sculpture of walking figures. By the mid-1950s Turnbull’s sculpture became focused on presenting very static totemic forms, but his interest in movement continued through his paintings – see for example the oscillating marks of the white-on-white canvas ‘29-1958’.
Here Turnbull’s delicate wavering marks seem to vibrate against the ground of pure white paper - while the large-format of these works feels closer to painting than drawing. This group of drawings comes directly from the artist's estate and all are in exceptional condition. They were kept in the artist’s home in their original Arches paper wrapping and have never before been exhibited or offered for sale.
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