On Thursday, 16th January, our group visited the Mima to view William Tillyer’s exhibition “Against Nature”. We thought we ought to view his work because of statements such as that by Brian Appleyard, writing in the Sunday Times, saying: “Many people think he is the finest painter in Britain”.
Born in Middlesbrough in 1938, William Tillyer studied at Middlesbrough College of Art and then at the Slade. His work is held in many national and international galleries, including Tate and the V&A in London, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Mima’s collection. He is also collected by people such as David Bowie and Charles Saatchi. The Mima has made “Against Nature” the largest single artist exhibition since the gallery’s opening in 2007.
On entering the gallery, the group was very impressed by “High Force”, a digitally manipulated watercolour. The ceramics, glassware and etchings were admired but, although “thought provoking” and “interesting” were words used to describe the paintings, the phrase “emperor’s new clothes” was also used. A mixed response-to put it politely! Fortunately, the Mima has a very nice café.