William Turnbull 1922-2012


Turnbull was born in Dundee on January 11 1922. He has produced many works of sculpture as well as having studied in the fields of painting and printmaking.


He worked as an illustrator for a national periodical publisher in Dundee (1939-41) before undertaking wartime service in the RAF during World War II. He then studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1946 to 1948 before spending two years in Paris.


On his return to London he shared a studio with Eduardo Paolozzi, with whom he exhibited at the Hanover Gallery in 1950. Turnbull's reputation grew with the generation of British sculptors acclaimed at the Venice Biennale of 1952. His interest in the interrelationship of blunt, self-evident components differed significantly, however, from the more psychological approach of his co-exhibitor in Venice, Reg Butler, and even, despite certain similarities and their close friendship, the metamorphic interests of Paolozzi.


In the early 1950s Turnbull was involved with the Independent Group at the ICA, whose lectures on recent scientific, sociological and philosophical ideas were of great interest to him.