In 1960 in his capacity as assistant to the director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Tony Tuckson curated the groundbreaking tour of Aboriginal art that travelled around Australia. This was to have a transformative effect on his own artistic vision, inducing him to move away from the intimate, domestic scenes he had previously favoured as a painter, eventually propelling him towards the gestural painting evinced in Untitled (Red, Black and White).
Tuckson's role at the gallery provided him with the opportunity to study at close quarters artworks in the collection. Notable amongst them was John Olsen's Spanish Encounter(1960), which Tuckson was instrumental in purchasing for the gallery. Other profound influences on Tuckson at this time emerged from further afield, particularly from American Cy Twombly and the Swiss Expressionist Paul Klee, whose investigation of line and mark impelled Tuckson towards a more graffiti-like use of the surface.
In his paradigmatic essay on Tuckson, Daniel Thomas considered the artist's works of this period to be "deliberately uningratiating They abandon beauty of elaborately worked surface in hand-crafted objects, they abandon the pleasant associations we have with the colours of nature. Instead they offer direct contact with the artist himself. They hide nothing. Each stage of the making can be seen and appreciated. The artist invites the spectator to watch the raw creative process; it is a generous, confident invitation and the paintings have great freshness." (D. Thomas, "An Introduction to Tony Tuckson" in D. Thomas et.al, Tony Tuckson, Sydney, 1989, p.36).