There’s an ongoing discussion here at It’s Nice That HQ about how well younger generations of creatives recognise and appreciate the work of those who have gone before and how well tracked art and design heritage is. One of the names who always crops up in these conversations is Sir Peter Blake, whose impact on the Young British Artists – and therefore like it or not on the contemporary art scene in the UK – was massive.
It goes much deeper than his work on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, although that iconic cover encapsulates many of the ideas of his very British type of Pop Art – full of silly surrealism, pop culture references and a love of collage.
Now, to mark his 80th birthday, a new show at the Waddington Custot Galeries in London not only looks back at his prolific career but also includes a host of new works. What’s particularly interesting about these new pieces is that whereas is that they borrow figures and motifs from his own work, which makes sense really – when you become a part of the pop culture you work from it is only right that this feeds back somewhere. There’s a particular focus on London landmarks, populated by added elements which reference a typically diverse set of inspirations.
As well as collages, prints and paintings there’s also some fabulous sculpture work, including alphabets made made from personal mementos and strange robotic like figures which look ready to march. The show will attract both longtime Blake fans and those keen to appreciate just how influential the man cast as the Godfather of the likes of Hirst, Emin and the Chapman brothers really is.
Peter Blake: Rock, Paper, Scissors runs from November 21 until December 15.