Sir Peter Blake at Mall Galleries
An exciting celebration of a lifetime’s work is apt for a man who is about to become an octogenarian next week. Sir Peter Blake’s work has spanned a lifetime and has included highs such as working with the likes of The Beatles to create some of music’s most iconic images – most notably the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover, which he has now recreated with a fresh set of faces to be sold on for charity.
Blake’s way of working was unique for his time and it is this that afforded him the title of the unofficial ‘grandfather of pop art’. Though Andy Warhol is often warranted with the title, Blake began working with commercial names and reproductive prints well before Warhol’s soup tins. Though Blake has been creating collaged, screen-printed pieces since the beginning of his career as an artist, there is something very current to his work, though it does not take much to understand that the recent work of other artists was inspired by the originality of Blake’s own, rather than the other way around.
Four years of work have gone into this latest exhibition which has produced an astounding body of work. Walls are packed with recent pieces which vary from delicate street scenes to bold stamps and nostalgic collages. Of particular interest is the World Tour series which depicts scenes from foreign lands with particular attention to France. The repeated use of butterflies in his work, often strewn across a gritty background scene of a city may be a nod to Blake’s love of the rural life; he moved from the city to the Black Country where he later formed the Brotherhood of Ruralists in 1975.
What is remarkable about Blake’s work is that the methods he uses are simple, but perfectly executed; a combination which does not always lend itself well to contemporary work. As an ambassador for the UK during the 2012 Games, Blake will certainly be showcasing the best of British.
The exhibition is now closed. The exhibition is now at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester where it will be on display until October 2012.