Antipodean head (intruder)
Parrots in bush

Born Melbourne, Australia 1914, lived England and Europe 1947–58, died Melbourne 1999


Initially working as a commercial illustrator, Albert Tucker’s brief formal training included studies at the Victorian Artists’ Society in the mid-1930s. Early sources of inspiration for Tucker were the books and periodicals at the State Library, and in the early 1940s, the environment at John and Sunday Reed’s ‘Heide’ in outer Melbourne, and the stimulus offered by fellow artists such as Danila Vassilieff and Arthur Boyd.

Tucker was a founding member of the Melbourne Contemporary Art Society (1938) and the CAS President during 1943–47. An advocate of modernism, he published in Reed and Harris’ Angry Penguins journal, informed by a wide ranging interest in art history including German Expressionism, and the work of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet and Henry Moore. Responding critically to his experiences of wartime, Tucker painted his best known series, the Images of modern evil (1943–47) in Melbourne before leaving to live in Europe and the United States.

On his return to Australia, Tucker began a period of intense engagement with the Australian bush, vegetation and birdlife becoming subjects in themselves and settings for historical and mythical narratives. As in Parrots in bush, Tucker’s paintings are often textured with PVA glue and natural material.

Tucker’s work has been the subject of a number of solo exhibitions at major public galleries in Australia, and at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. He is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, state galleries and regional Victorian galleries, as well as in the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum, New York.