Scottish sculptor, painter and printmaker, regarded as one of Britain's foremost sculptors. After serving in the Royal Air Force during World War Two, Turnbull studied at the Slade School of Art. Following this Turnbull spent two years living in Paris with his fellow contemporary Eduardo Paolozzi and became largely influenced by the artists he met, including Brancusi, Giacometti and Leger.
Turnbull's early paintings rely heavily on the use of signs and motifs. His paintings used simple linear elements and were followed by works which were very gestural in form. Influenced by Barnett Newman, Turnbull created vast canvases covered with varying hues.
Turnbull's early sculptures consist of a variety of materials, including plaster, bronze, wood, steel and plastic, incorporated together, and his sculptures up to 1963 show this experimental nature. From 1963 Turnbull turned his attention to painted steel sculptures of irregular forms and in the late 70s returned loosely to his previous style of the 50s.
William Turnbull has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad, and is represented in many public collections, including British Council, London; The Government Art Collection, London; Tate, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; and the Sydney Opera House, Australia.