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Peter Phillips (British, b.1939)
LOT ID: 64708
One Double Eight, 1961

Oil, Collage
48.5 х 35.75 in. (123.19 x 90.8 cm.)
Unsigned, other, label on the back stretcher from the 1961, Young Contemporaries Exhibtion at the RBA Galleries, London. The painting won the first prize in this exhibition.
Lot description
Peter Phillips is one of the preeminent British Pop Artists of our time. His work ranges from oils on canvas to multi-media compositions and collages. Vibrant in color and filled with iconography of images drawn from daily life, Peter's work appeals to the spectator's memory, elevates curiosity and awakens their minds to the world around them.

Phillips studied at Birmingham College of Art from 1955 - 1959 and later at the Royal College of Art 1959 – 1962 with his fellow students David Hockney, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, Derek Boshier , Patrick Caulfield and others of the British Pop Art Movement. There he saw reproductions of work by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg and was influenced by American Pop art and its commercial iconography and aggressive advertising style. In 1963 he was represented at the Paris Biennale, and in 1964 his work was included in the Pop Art exhibition shown at the Hague, Vienna and Berlin. In 1964 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 1964 and moved to New York, where he lived for two years with his close friend Allen Jones. During his American stay Phillips readily absorbed the trappings of American youth culture - glamour, energy and sexuality and the two years were to have a huge impact on his work. Following a road trip around the US American cars and automobile parts featured prominently in his work juxtaposed with unrelated elements such as funfair decor, American pin-ups, on a dazzling background of abstract patterns that congeal to take on the characteristic of a seamless collage which the viewer must decipher, the artist leaving no clues as to a specific point of entry - and no exit.

In 1965 he had first US solo show at the Kornblee Gallery and was invited to contribute three prints to the first major Pop Art Print portfolio, 11 Pop Artists I-III. He later went on to exhibit with many of his American Pop counterparts such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist. Phillips returned to Europe in 1966 where he has lived and worked ever since. In 1976 he was awarded a retrospective at the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, and another at the Tate Gallery in London in 1976. In 2002, he was the subject of a further retrospective at Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy and was included in their "Pop Art UK" group exhibition in 2004.

One Double Eight is a highly important painting by Peter Phillips dating from 1961, two years after he left the Royal College of Art. It clearly shows the early development of the artist’s Pop style and in contrast to the very slick and finished works produced following the artist’s two year stay in the States, One Double Eight is much more painterly and textural in feel. The painting is oil on canvas with areas of collage attached to the canvas. The handling of the paint has certain similarities to works of the same period by his fellow Royal College of Art student David Hockney. The manner in which the artist floats the different elements against the flat background prefigure his similar handling of elements in his later work. Compositionally the work is closely linked to Phillips’ 1960 painting One Five Times/Sharpshooter.

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