w. tucker | heads in the mountains

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w. tucker

w. tucker in his studio

27 APRIL — 7 JUNE 2020

w. tucker heads in the mountains


exhibition: 4

works on wood

sometimes I remember

ink, lumber crayon, canvas, staples on wood 78 1/2 x 11 x 2 1/4 in.


open / fragile

charcoal, ink, paper, metal on cardboard container with low table (wood, screws, texture paste) 13 x 9 7â „8 x 9 7â „8 in.


it was a race, oh yes it was, to get that brass ring baby oil, texture paste, china marker, metal, acrylic paint on wood door 78 1/2 x 48 in.


red boat and two above to take me home watercolor, charcoal, acrylic paint, on wood 78 1/2 x 11 x 2 1/4 in.


types of heads and one nude

resin stick, charcoal, graphite, acrylic paint on wood 23 7â „8 x 24 in.


tiny car

charcoal, paper on cement 1 1â „8 x 3 x 2 1/2 in.



works on paper 18

no scared scaredy crow

ink, charcoal, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.


the blue chair

ink, resin stick, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.

her him

ink, charcoal, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.


rabbit, outta the box ink, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.

e, elephant

ink, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.



ink, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.

jg sutton

ink, graphite, resin stick, charcoal on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.


if he wasn’t afraid what was behind him -- he was fearful what was in front ink, graphite on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.

super panda

ink, charcoal on paper 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.




mixed media on vintage book cover, paper 4 x 3 1/4 in.


jim and judy

charcoal, paper, vintage book cover 8 x 6 in.


the animal book

ink, resin stick, china marker, graphite, charcoal, color pencil, paper, thread, vintage book cover 8 1/4 x 5 5â „8 in. (closed) 8 1/4 x 38 1/4 in. (open)


whales on book covers


one fish, two fish, red fish, black fish

ink, charcoal on vintage book cover 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.

blue eyed whale

ink, resin stick, paper on vintage book cover 9 5â „8 x 7 1/2 in


whale with pink

ink, resin stuck on book cover 5 5â „8 x 8 1â „8 in.

whale & blue dots

Charcoal, resin stuck on album cover 5 1⁄16 x 12 1⁄8 in.


charcoal on book cover 6 3⁄4 x 8 1⁄2 in.


in the night sky, they floated

resin stick, charcoal on book cover 6 5â „8 x 8 3â „4 in.

little boxes on shelf


tiny boxes (on shelf)

mixed media on vintage cardboard watch parts boxes 3 1/2 x 72 x 1 in.

hat & trunk

texture paste, resin stick on carboard box 1 7⁄8 x 1 7⁄8 x 1 1⁄2 in.

hat on head

texture paste, charcoal, resin stick on cardboard box, 2 x 2 x 1 3⁄8 in.


more boxes

tiny ship on yellow

charcoal, acrylic paint on wood 1 3⁄4 x 1 1⁄16 x 1 3⁄8 in.

he look this way & that

resin stick, thread, texture paste on cardboard 4 1⁄8 x 2 1⁄16 in.


two clowns boxed

charcoal, resin stik, thread on cardboard 4 1⁄8 x 2 1⁄16 in.

book covers

and then I don’t

charcoal, resin stick, graphite on vintage book cover 9 3/4 x 6 3â „8 in.



the storm

resin stick, ink on vintage book cover 8 1/2 x 13 in.

bird to bird -- the same the same (1) ink, resin stick on vintage book cover 8 1/4 x 5 3â „8 in.


bird to bird -- the same the same (2)

ink, resin stick on vintage book cover 8 1/4 x 5 3â „8 in.

black bird singing the x’s & o’s ink, graphite, paper on book cover 5 1/2 x 6 3/4 in.


duck & boat, there was nothing more either of them wanted watercolor on book cover, 5 x 7 3â „8 in.


black bird, flying

ink, oil, charcoal, resin stick on book cover 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.

nof (no more fighting) charcoal on book cover 5 9â „16 x 8 1â „2 in.


switching heads

charcoal, resin stick on book cover 5 5â „8 x 8 1â „2 in.

hats, birds, birds, hats

ink, charcoal, texture paste, paper on book cover 13 1â „2 x 4 1â „4 in.


I drew a bird and two cups -- coffee for me & you charcoal on sandpaper 9 1â „8 x 11 1â „8 in.

gently reaching

ink, thread on sandpaper 2 1/2 x 5 in.




resin stick, charcoal on sandpaper 11 x 9 in.


wake up she shouted resin stick on metal 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.


the end.

w. tucker W. Tucker is a bit of an opportunist, scribbling his own unique timestamp on a wide array of found objects from the past. A scrappy cast of characters tumbles to life from his non-dominant hand, scrawled across vintage book covers, children’s blocks, and old records from his favorite thrift shops, abandoned cabinet doors, and homemade cement objects. His work is contemplative, his process completely unplanned. Without fixed intention or control, his markings take on a deeper meaning— each wavering line warrants our attention. Here, a stick-figure wears a hat; there, a joyful elephant. “I don’t say this often to people, […] but I’ve felt over time that the closer my work got to what a child could do, the happier I was with the work,” he says. Tucker’s stark, simplified drawings interact with their foundobject environments and elevate the space with earnest potency. From 1 ¼-inch square antique watch-part boxes to 6-foot-high plywood panels, Tucker’s found ‘canvases’ are integral to his process. The artist welcomes serendipitous ‘gifts’ in the patina of the found materials he makes his own. Of an existing shape, color, or design, such as a grid-like pattern of blue crosses covering the surface of the 5-foot-high wooden panel work, sometimes I remember, he says, chuckling at the memory, “those were given to me.” He continues, “Sometimes it feels like a little bit like stealing, sometimes it feels more like I’m borrowing and adding to it.” Upon these surfaces, Tucker layers assorted media including charcoal, watercolor, graphite, resin, ink, and oil, creating a rich palimpsest of imagery. Elemental, perhaps, but decidedly not elementary, people, animals, and ships emerge from irregular lines drawn in constant, repetitive forms. Tucker works exclusively with his non-dominant hand, which lends his work an element of visceral, child-like honesty. There is a familiarity about the work that is both nostalgic and refreshing. Still, according to him, “the fact that I do use my left hand is relevant to me, and it’s relevant to how the work comes out, and someone might find it interesting, but I hope it’s not the most interesting thing about the work.” Over time, Tucker’s work has become sparser, the heavy layering of materials giving way to a lightness of touch that was perhaps clouded

in his earlier work. His characters, given more space compositionally, take on an undeniable gravitas. Indeed, the idea of space is something that drives him as an artist, and is what inspired the title of this exhibition, Heads in the Mountains. He would like his audience to use the space in his work as a support system for deep contemplation in our everyday lives, as “the space to stop, the space to breathe, the space to watch the thought pass without grabbing a hold of it. This space, to me, also gives power to the images/items/people/ships that live in the pieces.” W. Tucker was born in 1959 in Goldsboro, North Carolina. After graduating from NYU with a BA in drama in 1982, he struggled to find consistent work as an actor in Los Angeles. He began drawing and painting in 1986 as almost an act of fate. While living with friends in the fabled art-centric Laurel Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles, he discovered a drafting table, large pads of drawing paper, and sets of oil and chalk pastels left in the house by a previous tenant. “I don’t think about it much, but I’m reminded now of how bizarre that is,” he says. Drawing and painting became a happy respite from the “frantic dismay” of auditioning. About three years into the practice, a solo exhibition dropped into his lap. Timed with the opening of the Beverly Hills Parachute storefront, a Soho-based New Wave boutique at the pinnacle of mid-eighties cool, Tucker’s first exhibition sold 17 of the 20 framed works. W. Tucker has since exhibited all over the United States and throughout Switzerland, with solo shows in galleries and museums. His work has gained considerable traction since he moved to Austin, Texas, eleven years ago. His work has been published in volume number 67 and 102 of New American Paintings, a juried show in print. Residencies include a 1991 stay at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula, California, and the Fountainhead Residency in Miami in 2008. Tucker was awarded the 2012-2013 Austin Critics’ Table Award for Best Installation as well as Artist of the Year for his large-scale installation at Texas State University. He attended Circle in the Square through New York University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama in 1982. Currently, W. Tucker lives and works in Austin, Texas. This catalog complements W. Tucker’s Exhibition heads in the mountains at Tayloe Piggott Gallery © 2020 All Rights Reserved