Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Godfather of pop art in exhibition

ARTIST Sir Peter Blake reached the pinnacle of his career back in 1967 when he designed the cover of The

ARTIST Sir Peter Blake reached the pinnacle of his career back in 1967 when he designed the cover of The Beatles’ album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The design won a Grammy award for best album cover, and has become part of our collective national consciousness.

Although that was nearly 50 years ago, Blake has never stopped working, and this year the collage he created in celebration of his 80th birthday, a kind of 21st century mock-up of the album cover, was unveiled to great critical acclaim.

A silkscreen print of that work, among other works of his, goes on display this week at the Bohun Gallery on Reading Road in Henley. It marks a long and fruitful association between the artist and the gallery — he has exhibited at the Bohun many times over the years, having first shown his work here in 1979.

Known as the “Godfather of British Pop Art”, Sir Peter Blake was born in Dartford, Kent, and educated at the Royal College of Art. His composition Vintage Blake: Peter Blake’s 80th Family, Friends And Icons, features a crowd collage highlighting figures from the artist’s career and personal life, including David Hockney, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Ian Dury, Damien Hirst and many more.

Katie Newman of the gallery said: “We are absolutely delighted to host this major print show of Sir Peter’s work. It will offer collectors the opportunity to acquire work reflecting most aspects of the artist’s career.”

The Replay series of colourful silkscreens re-invents some of his most infamous works from the Fifties and Sixties which focus on the icons of the time. His painterly technique is celebrated in the quirky series of prints taken from his A Madonna On Venice Beach suite, which placed familiar 16th century madonnas against the Venice boardwalks of the Eighties.

More recently Blake has developed his collage technique and the screenprints of his later career focus on this practice.

Many of his works feature found printed materials such as photographs, comic strips or advertising texts, combined with bold geometric patterns and primary colours. The works capture the effervescent and optimistic ethos of the Sixties, but are also fresh and contemporary.

The show runs from Tuesday, February 5 until Saturday, March 2. for more information visit www.bohungallery.co.uk

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