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Peter Phillips (British, b.1939)
LOT ID: 64775
Study for Random Illusion, No. 1, 1968

Acrylic, and coloured pencil
28.3 х 39.4 in. (71.88 x 100.08 cm.)
Signed, lower right
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.

Study for Randam Illusion No. 1 is a classic Peter Phillips work from the early 1970s and shows his developed mature style. The work has a highly finished technique combining screen-print with acrylic and spraypaint. Classic Phillips imagery such as engine parts, 3D shapes and animals are seemingly randomly placed throughout the composition and have been successfully placed to appear to almost fall out of the picture plane at the viewer.
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