Born 1928, London.
Joe Tilson worked as a carpenter before serving in the Royal Air Force from 1946-49. He went to St Martin's School of Art from 1949-52 and from there to the Royal College of Art until 1955. In 1955 he won an Italian Government Scholarship which allowed him to spend two years travelling in Italy and Spain. He represented Britain in the Venice Biennale of 1964. Associated with the Pop Artists emanating from the Royal College in the 1960s, his work, like that of Larry Rivers and R B Kitaj, is intensely referential, drawing on popular history, myth and legend. He lives in Wiltshire and Italy, both of which have had a strong influence on his work, the one in prehistoric archaeology, the other in the classical world.
Joe Tilson was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991.
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