Joe Tilson was born in London in 1928.
From 1949 to 1952 he attended the St Martin’s School of Art and later, from 1952 to 1955, the Royal College of Art. In 1955 he received the prestigious Premio Roma and he moved to Italy, where he met Joslyn Morton. In 1956, Tilson and Joslyn got married in Venice and a couple of years later they moved back to London, where Tilson started teaching in several universities and art academies. His career as a professor brought him to the School of Visual Arts in New York and to the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Hamburg. He held his first solo exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in London in 1962, while in 1964 he had been invited to participate to the XXXII Biennale di Venezia. From then on, Tilson exhibits all around the world and his works are now part of important collections, including Tate Gallery in London, MoMA in New York and Stedelijk Museumin Amsterdam. In 2002 the Royal Academy of Arts in London dedicated him a major retrospective exhibition entitled “Joe Tilson: Pop to Present”. In love with Italy (and returned by Italian collectors and critics), he spends most of his time between his house in Cortona and his studio in Venice. Currently, he mainly lives and works in London.