Nicola Tyson (b. 1960, London, England)
Nicola Tyson was born in 1960 in London, England. She attended Chelsea School of Art, St. Martins School of Art and Central/St. Martins School of Art in London and currently lives and works in upstate New York.
Primarily known as a painter, Tyson has also worked with photography, film, performance and the written word. In 2011 Tyson released the limited edition book Dead Letter Men, a collection of satirical letters addressing famous male artists. The book was designed by Peter Miles and published by Petzel Gallery, New York and Sadie Coles HQ, London. Her unique archive of color photos documenting the London club scene of the late 1970’s — Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club — was the subject of shows, both in New York and London, in 2012 and 2013.
Tyson has mounted solo shows at The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2017); Sadie Coles HQ (2017); Nathalia Obadia, Paris (2015); Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); White Columns, New York (2012), numerous shows at Petzel Gallery (1995-2020), among others.
She has participated in group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, New York (2020); Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018); Skarstedt, New York (2016); Neue Galerie Graz, Austria (2015), and Wexner Center for the Arts (2013), among others.
Tyson’s work is included in major collections such as Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Tate Modern, London.
“Initially, feminist concerns — and theory — were my drivers. I worked conceptually, for a while, after graduating. I even ran a women-only project space in the early ‘90s, from my SoHo studio loft. I then literally shut the door on all that and turned within to work completely intuitively. I had found my voice — which I felt was a feminist achieve- ment in itself — and no longer wanted my imagination to be structured by theory.”
Alex John Beck, “Discovery Beings with Drawing,” Upstate Diary, April 2020
1960 Born London, England
1978 While studying at Central St. Martins, Tyson documents the burgeoning New Romantic club scene at Billy’s Club, Soho, London. The photos are in color and depict a gender-fluid, soon to be famous youth, inclusive of Boy George, Steve Strange and Siouxie Sioux
1990 Moves to New York City
1992 Co-founds Trial Balloon, an art- ist-run, women-only exhibition space in Soho, NYC. The space launched careers of queer female artists including Nicole Eisenman and Lutz Bacher, among others
1995 Premiere exhibition with Petzel, New York
1998 Survey exhibition of paintings and drawings Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland
1999 Premiere exhibition with Sadie Coles HQ, London
2005 Survey new works at Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
2012 Bowie Nights At Billy’s Club, London, 1978 exhibition at White Columns, New York
2013 Publishes Dead Letter Men: a collection of satirical essays to dead artists like Picasso and Manet, which question and provoke a gendered version of art history
2017 Exhibition of new drawings Beyond the Trace, Drawing Room, London
Survey exhibition at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Tyson premieres figurative wooden sculptures in SomeBodies, Petzel
2020 Sense of Self exhibition at Petzel
2021 Holding Pattern exhibtion at Sadie Coles HQ, London
2022 Nicola Tyson: A Bit Touched exhibition at Nino Mier Gallery, Brussels