Back To List of Artists

PETER BLAKE (Born 1932)

Peter BLAKE (b. 1930)Peter Blake was born in Dartford, Kent, and is one of the foremost artists of the British Pop movement. From 1946 to 1951 he attended Gravesend School of Art, transferring to the Royal College of Art in London until 1956. In 1950 Blake was included in group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and had his first solo exhibition in 1960. In the 'Young Contemporaries' exhibition of 1961, where he exhibited alongside David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj, his work was first identified as belonging to the emerging British Pop Art movement. The same year, Blake won the John Moores junior award for his Self Portrait with Badges. He came to wider public attention when he was featured in Ken Russell's BBC Monitor film on Pop Art, Pop Goes the Easel in 1962. From 1963 Blake was represented by Robert Fraser, who placed him at the centre of 'swinging London' and brought him into contact with leading figures of popular culture. BlakeHe designed the album sleeve for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which has become an iconic work of pop art, much imitated and his best known work. In 1969 Blake moved to Bath. His work featured scenes based on English Folklore and characters from Shakespeare, and in 1975 he was a founder member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists. Blake moved back to London in 1979 and his work returned to the earlier popular culture references.Peter Blake became a Royal Academician in 1981, a CBE in 1983, and in 2002 received a knighthood for his services to art. Retrospectives of Blake's work were held at Tate in 1983 and Tate Liverpool in 2008. In February 2005, the Sir Peter Blake Art Gallery, in the School of Music, University of Leeds, was opened by the artist.