Artist Spotlight: Peter Blake

Known as the ‘Godfather of Pop Art’, Peter Blake has returned to Sheffield with BLAKE – his first exhibition in the city in over five years. This new ‘show and sell’ will bring together a number of new works plus a selection of rare classics.

After studying a Gravesend Technical College from 1949-1951, Blake spent a period of time with the Royal Air Force before attending the Royal College of Art. Following graduation he won the Leverhulme Research Award, which allowed him to study arts in countries across Europe. Upon returning to the UK, his artistic style began to move towards his recognisable brand of collaged works featuring movies stars, musicians and pin-up girls.

Blake spent much of the 60s and 70s teaching at institutions such as St. Martins School of Art, Harrow School of Art, Walthamstow School of Art and the Royal College of Art. It was during this period in which he continued to exhibit his work domestically and internationally, winning the coveted John Moores Award in 1961 for the work Self Portrait with Badges.

In the following decades the artist lived in Chiswick, West London, returning to glossy commercial pop art and being elected into the Royal Academy of Arts and receiving a CBE in the process. In 1990 and 1991, he painted the artwork for Eric Clapton’s famous 24 Nights album, from which a scrapbook of his drawings was later relased.

In recent years, the artist has worked on an array of culturally significant projects: designing the artworks for the Oasis greatest hits album Stop the Clocks, creating an updated imagining of the Beatles’ famous Sgt. Pepper artwork for the city’s European Capital of Culture bid and hosting a solo show of original work ‘Portaits and People’ at London’s Waddington Custot Galleries.

Today he is working on a series of designs for Penguin books, and has also been commissioned to paint a canvas of St. Martin for the Knights Chapel in St. Paul’s Cathedral – the first artists to be commissioned in several hundred years.

BLAKE is open until 29 Sept at The Viewing Room, Kommune.

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