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Astronaut (Software Chart) Joe Tilson


Joe Tilson London, 1928 –

Date 1968
Object type object
Medium, technique screenprint on acetate film with metallised film

64.2 x 127.5 cm

Inventory number MO.91.96
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Originally trained as a carpenter, Tilson, one of the representative figures of British Pop Art, tries to preserve as much of the character of handiwork as possible in his products. Various art techniques mix in his works. Besides his painted wooden reliefs, he tended to use pictures, photos, printed reproductions or screenprints in a collage-like manner, mainly in the ‘60s predominated by Pop Art.
His series entitled Transparency was created around 1968 with the liberal use of various materials. The core of the works are enlarged slides, sometimes framed and sometimes – as with Astronaut – like a film strip with the lateral perforations. Apart from references to topical events (e.g. Yury Gagarin’s space journey a few years earlier) he also includes radical political personage of the age in his works. Tilson draws on the emblematic pictures of everyday life, ordinary symbols objects and events of urban living shown in press photos, magazines. He enlarges the reproductions and complements them with visual symbols (e.g. charts), letters and emblematic signs. In the final analysis, he probes into the possibilities of visual communication in the mass media and the practice of art. His explicitly voiced goal was to create art that was popular among the rebellious youths of those years and to reconcile art with life and the public.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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