Peter Blake is a British pioneer of ‘Pop Art’ and is strongly recognised for his urban realist subjects and collages. He is best known for his co-creation of the Beatles album artwork, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ The use of brands and advertisements are evident in his work, along with pop culture being a strong subject. Blake uses the playful element of collage to create a strong narrative, which combines figuration with abstraction.
Peter Blake was born in Dartford, Kent 1932. He served three years in the Royal Air Force, prior to attending the Royal College of Art in London between 1953 and 1956. He began teaching at St Martin’s School of Art in London in 1960, and taught at various institutions before his first solo exhibition in 1962, at the Portal Gallery, London. In 1981 he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and was awarded a CBE in 1983. Later in 1998 he was made Honorary Doctor at the Royal College of Art, and was further Knighted in 2002.
Retrospectives of Blake's work were held at the Tate in 1983 and Tate Liverpool in 2008. In February 2005, the Sir Peter Blake Music Art Gallery, located in the School of Music, University of Leeds, was opened by the artist. The permanent exhibition features 20 examples of Blake's album sleeve art, including the only public showing of a signed print of his Sgt. Pepper's artwork.