Peter Blake At The Holburne Museum

Peter Blake: A Museum for Myself

The Holburne Museum: 14 May - 4 September 2011


Peter Blake, Elvis Shrine, 2003

This is an excellent exhibition and is a counterpoint to our own exhibition across the bridge and up the road from the museum. I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour by the curator of the show and was blown away. My favourite piece undoubtedly was the small chromed artist's paint box - glimmering and redundant, an oxymoronic object of such aesthetic luminosity that I wanted to eat it. If you like our collections and want to see one man's personal museum of his favourite beautiful things, then I recommend a visit.

Here's a brief synopsis from the ArtFund website:

The Holburne Museum has reopened its doors after three years with a major focus on Sir Peter Blake. For the first time, items from the artist's extensive personal collection are displayed alongside his own works. Known as the godfather of British Pop Art, Blake has been closely involved in pop culture for half a century. His cover for the Beatles' 1967 album Sergeant Pepper is one of the most enduring images from that decade. On display are sculptures and collages from throughout Blake's career, including the title work A Museum for Myself (1982), Elvis Shrine (2003) and his series of 'Museums of Black and White'. Items on show from Blake's personal collection include Victorian collage, pop ephemera and showbiz memorabilia. Look out for the marching troupes of toy elephants, General Tom Thumb's boots, a hare with antlers and Max Miller's shoes.

It has been said that in his early career Blake was the first member of the Pop Art movement to feature celebrities as subjects. He tapped into a new trans-Atlantic art sensibility with Locker (1958), an army locker decorated with pictures of Hollywood sirens Brigitte Bardot and Kim Novak. Blake has created artwork for many pop acts, including The Who, Paul Weller and Band Aid. One item of pop ephemera in particular from this exhibition, Ian Dury's rhythm stick, bears witness to a deep, mutual artistic relationship. Dury, who toured with The Blockheads and wrote the chart-topping song Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, had been a student of Blake's at the Royal College of Art, and wrote a song called Peter the Painter. Following Dury's death in 2000, Blake designed the cover for the tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties.

Peter Blake - A Museum For Myself

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