Beyond Time is a documentary journey into the life and work of the artist William Turnbull.  A true pioneer of British modernism, Turnbull’s life has spanned an era from horse drawn transport to the internet. Beyond Time chronicles Turnbull's life and work and his intimate involvement with many of the critical developments of 20th century art. The film explores his experiences in Paris, London and New York where he befriended and worked alongside artists like Alberto Giacometti, Richard Hamilton, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Having served as a pilot during the 2nd World War, Turnbull was one of the first artists to benefit from the spatial perspective of seeing the earth from above. This had a profound effect on his work as an artist. The film’s distinguished cast pay homage to Turnbull’s painting and sculpture and express their belief that he stands alongside the great masters of 20th Century art. Widely respected as both a sculptor and painter, Turnbull’s modernism stood in stark contrast to the rigidity and formality of the British art scene he encountered as a young artist. Beyond Time tells the story of Turnbull’s unerring self-belief and strict adherence to principle through an extended period of rampant commercialism in the arts. Meticulously produced over a four-year period Beyond Time includes footage and stills from Turnbull’s major shows - from the Venice Biennale of 1952 and his work at the nascent ICA and Whitechapel Galleries in London, through to his major retrospectives at the Tate in 1973 and 2006.
Beyond Time also features Turnbull’s most comprehensive interviews to date as well as contributions from art world luminaries including Nick Serota (Tate Director), Richard Morphet (Curator - Tate), Matthew Collins (Art Critic), Tim Marlow (Writer/Broadcaster), Donald Blinken (Chairman- Rothko Foundation) and artists Antony Gormley, Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton, amongst others.

Beyond Time - William Turnbull

This film follows Turnbull’s journey from fledgling artist visiting Giacometti and Brancusi's studios in 1940’s Paris, to his involvement with the artists that created Pop Art and put the ICA on the map in London in the 50s. It then shifts to New York where he became close friends with Rothko and Newman both of whom respected him immensely as an artist. Turnbull’s art has been widely collected in America and Europe, and his work features in David Hockney’s seminal LA paintings in the 60s. 

Beyond Time tells the story of the life and work of one of Britain’s greatest artists. It also tells the inside story of the pivotal moments in the development of art in the post war period.


Beyond Time is directed by Alex Turnbull and
Pete Stern and is narrated by Jude Law.