Biography of Peter Phillips
Bursting with vibrant color and pop-culture imagery, the work of British Pop artist Peter Phillips has amassed a devoted cult following. His works fuse together commercial iconography taken from magazines and adverts and more traditional painting techniques inspired by modernism and abstraction. In typical Pop Art fashion, Phillips appeals to his viewers’ memories in order to stir curiosity and awaken them to the over-commercialized world around them. This is achieved without the works ever losing their sense of spontaneity and fun. The artist mainly works in painting, collage, and sculpture.
Peter Phillips was born in Birmingham, U.K., in 1939. He trained at the Royal College of Art alongside David Hockney, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, and other key figures from British Pop Art. In 1961 he became president of the Young Contemporaries exhibition of that year, which has since been hailed as a landmark exhibition of the Pop Art movement.
In 1964 Peter Phillips was awarded the Harkness Fellowship and he subsequently moved to New York where he exhibited alongside the American Pop Art greats, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist. Phillips spent the 1980s travelling around Spain, in 1986 he bought land in Mallorca where he designed and built his own finca (small farm).
Peter Phillips has exhibited all over the world, including at MoMA in New York, the Barbican Art Gallery and the Hayward Gallery both in London, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid. In 2013 Phillips’ work was included in Christie’s exhibition “When Britain Went Pop”, cementing his status as an originator of British Pop Art. Philipps was also commissioned to produce a painting for the 2010 Football World Cup and he was featured in China’s Vogue Magazine. Over thirty of his prints are in the Tate Collection. Today the 79-year-old artist travels and works between Central America, Europe, and Australia. Peter Phillips in an Honorary Member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts.