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Alesso 'B' by Michael Tyzack (1933-2007)

painting showing a v-shape of coloured squiggles converging at the foot of the painting

Acrylic on canvas, painted in 1965
Presented by Sir John Moores in 1966 (No. 6351)

First prize (Purchase prize), John Moores 5, 1965

The title refers to the Italian Renaissance artist, Alesso Baldovinetti (about 1426-99). Sheffield-born Tyzack saw parallels between his painting and the folds and hair details in Baldovinetti's Portrait of a Lady in Yellow (National Gallery, London.) Tyzack exploits the relationships between colours and the multi-directional movements of the wavy forms, aiming to flow them across the whole surface. The famous American art critic Clement Greenberg chaired the 1965 jury. The exhibition reflected his advocacy of 'colour-field' painting in which abstract artists created large, flat expanses of colour. This style dominated the exhibition. Tyzack said that winning the John Moores was the 'transformative event' in his career. He later settled as a revered Professor of Fine Art in Charleston, USA, where the college established 'The Tyzack Prize' in his memory.

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