Tim Head Biography

London, 1946 -

While British artist Tim Head's work encompasses installations, paintings, photography and works for public spaces, as well as light, slide and video projections, his concerns center unerringly on a world in which there is no meaning beyond the surface - only blank spaces and shifting shadows.

Head's work communicates his love for the trivial and the trash of everyday life, material he incorporates into and then transforms through his art. The ironic optimism towards 'consumer reality' expressed in his earlier works - influenced by Pop artists Richard Hamilton, his tutor at Newcastle, and Claes Oldenburg, for whom he briefly worked as an assistant in New York - here gives way to a darker skepticism.

Head's work articulates a general belief that the natural world can only be perceived in its 'untypical' form, through an artificial abstraction of an already artificial structure. The stage designs involving artificial trees that Head has produced recently, for the productions of renowned English choreographer Laurie Booth and the 'Peace' world tour by pop group the Eurythmics, have brought this vision to a wide audience.

Selected public collections

The Arts Council of Great Britain.

The Gulbenkian Foundation, London.

The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York.

The Tate Gallery, London.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Selected exhibitions


Artistic Director for The Eurythmics ?Peace? tour, touring worldwide.


Light Rain, Artezium Arts and Media Centre, Luton, UK, permanent work.


Artwork for Tate Gallery Centenary, London.


Floor Design, Science Museum, London.


Tate Gallery Christmas Tree, Tate Gallery, London.

Selected solo exhibitions


Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.


'The Tyranny of Reason', ICA, London.


British Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.


'Two Installations', Serpentine Gallery, London.


Selected bibliography

Livingstone, Marco, 'Return of the Body-Snatcher', Tim Head, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1992.

Cooke, Lynne, 'Mysterious Coincidences', Artscribe, no. 69, May 1988.

Searle, Adrian, 'Tim Head', Artforum, June 1988.

Head, Tim, 'Preface', The Tyranny of Reason, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1985.

Lynton, Norbert, 'Tim Head', Tim Head, British Pavilion, XXXIXth Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 1980.