School of Art
Enter the Conjuror’s Cabinet: David Tinker 1924-2000 - A Retrospective Exhibition
9 December 2002 – 7 February 2003; Gregynog Festival 2006
This retrospective exhibition of paintings and sculptures paid tribute to David Tinker whose contribution to the visual arts in Wales during the second half of the twentieth century, as artist and skilled educator, was immeasurable. One of the most eminent abstract painters working in Wales, he was a founder member of the 56 Group, a co-operative exhibiting association formed by young artists in Wales who were both advocates of modernism and allied to the international avant-garde. As a painter, sculptor, stage designer and teacher, Tinker championed a multiplicity of causes on behalf of the visual arts in Wales.
Tinker was born in south London, trained at Winchester and Bath Colleges of Art then in 1946, after four years in the Navy during the war, at the Slade School of Art. He came to Wales in 1949 to take up a Lectureship in Sculpture at Cardiff College of Art. The exhibition surveyed David Tinker’s career over almost half a century. It included figurative paintings from his years at art school, mythological subjects painted when he first arrived in Cardiff, Op Art and Systems paintings of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as his very distinctive and lively Abstract Expressionist works for which he is perhaps best well known. The exhibition also included portrait busts and ambiguous ceramic constructions that merge peculiar architectural forms with aspects of the human face.
The exhibition, curated by the School of Art Gallery and Museum, takes place forty years after David Tinker first came to Aberystwyth to teach at the University of Wales in 1962. He was appointed Director of the Visual Art Department (now the School of Art) in 1973; a position he held until his retirement in 1986.