Willy Tirr

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Willy Tirr Empty Willy Tirr

Post by croker November 27th 2021, 1:21 pm

Like Coper, Rie ,and many other  artists Willy Tirr came to Britain just before the 2nd World War to escape persecution, he turned to abstraction early and was widely shown , he exhibited alongside Terry Frost and had many exhibitions throughout the 60's and 70's.

He took up a teaching post as senior tutor at Leeds  college of art. I have a small archive of original photos and exhibition posters on this artist, along with other abstract artists  his work is often a bit on the large size for domestic display.

I have a few of his works and the one showing is a collage  titled 'the landscape quest'

Willy Tirr Pb260010

Willy Tirr Pb270010

Willy Tirr Pb270011

65 inches x around 48inches, the poster was designed by Frost for their combined exhibition
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Post by tenpot November 27th 2021, 2:16 pm

Thanks for that he was head at Leeds when I was there I have a catalogoue of a group exhibition at Cartwright Hall somewhere will look it out
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Post by studio-pots November 27th 2021, 3:42 pm

As he was the kind of artist that my old friend, Denis Bowen, would have shown at The New Vision Centre Gallery that he ran in Seymour Place, Central London from 1956 -1966, I checked the records and came across this: -

Willy Tirr New_vi10

The gallery was described by one critic as, "fiercely non-figurative, violently tachiste, remarkably international".

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Post by croker November 27th 2021, 3:58 pm

Hi studio-pots, Thanks for that, most interesting that he was exhibiting watercolours ,i have a couple of his watercolours and have noticed that from others that some seem to form the basis for his larger paintings and collages like sketches i suppose, Tirr also made fairly large constructive pieces unsuitable for anywhere but a gallery.
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Post by studio-pots November 27th 2021, 4:09 pm

Although he came to the UK in 1938 he didn't get the job at Leeds until 1960 and the New Vision outing seems to have been his first exhibition in the UK. Therefore, he might have been painting quietly while doing some other job(s) between '38 and '58.

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Post by croker November 27th 2021, 4:18 pm

He probably needed to work at that time as did many artists and potters. although the exhibition with frost was dated 1957, i will look through my other ephemera to see if i can find more details .I have a biography of this artist somewhere i will try and dig it out ,i think it is still available from Abe books.
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Post by studio-pots November 27th 2021, 4:24 pm

I haven't noticed the date of the York exhibition being 1957. I got the 1938 date + 1960 date from David Buckman's Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945. He doesn't mention the York exhibition but like me, David is London based and well........York is in the "North"? Say no more. Laughter

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Post by croker November 27th 2021, 4:40 pm

Most of the exhibition posters i have date from the 70s and early 80s , some have no year indicated, Tirr's wife was an also an artist and 'photographer' of sorts .
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Post by tenpot November 27th 2021, 5:35 pm

heres the catalogue ,I thought he was ancient but at the time he was younger than I am now Willy Tirr P1210411 Willy Tirr P1210410
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Post by studio-pots November 27th 2021, 5:46 pm

It does suggest that the Terry Frost + Willy Tirr exhibition in York in 1957 was his first and that watercolours were what he started out doing.

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Post by croker November 27th 2021, 5:56 pm

It does appear that the catalogue from tenpot shows that 1957 was the starting point for Tirrs exhibition career , the objects he refers to in the catalogue i think are the very large 'constuctivist kite' objects that i referred to earlier.
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Post by croker November 28th 2021, 3:26 pm

Here is a photo of Willy Tirr posing with the collage i posted above ,which gives an idea of the size.Willy Tirr Pb280010
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Willy Tirr Empty Re: Willy Tirr

Post by tenpot March 12th 2022, 11:00 am

Willy Tirr 27511010 Tirr participating in Kevin Atherton piece he was head of fine art at the time
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