Peter Blake, British (1932 - )

Best known for his design of the sleeve for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

During the late 1950s,  Blake became one of the best known British pop artists.  His paintings from this time included imagery from advertisements, music, and wrestlers, often including collaged elements.  Blake was included in group exhibitions at the ICA and had his first one person exhibitions in 1960. It was with the 'Young Contemporaries' exhibition of 1961 where he was exhibited alongside David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj that he was first identified with the emerging British Pop Art movement.

Blake won the (1961) John Moores junior award for his work Self Portrait with Badges. He first came to wider public attention when, along with Pauline Boty, Derek Boshier, and Peter Phillips, he featured in Ken Russell’s  film on pop art, Pop Goes the Easel, which was broadcast on BBC television in 1962.  From 1963 Blake was represented by Robert Frasier which placed him at the centre of swinging London  and brought him into contact with leading figures of popular culture.

In the early 1970s, he made a set of warecolours to illustrate Lewis carroll’s “Through the looking Glass” and in 1975, was a founder of the Brotherhood of Ruralists.

Blake also painted several notable album sleeves. As well as the sleeve for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which he designed with his then-wife Jann Haworth, Blake also made sleeves for the Band Aid single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (1984) and The Who’s “Face Dances” (1981), which features portraits of the band by a number of artists.

Blake was made a Royal Academician in 1981, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Tate in 1983. In 2002, Blake was awarded a Knighthood for his services to art.

In February 2005, the Sir Peter Blake Music Art Gallery, located in the School of Music, University of Leeds, was opened by the artist.

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