SIR PETER BLAKE CBE (born 1932)
BROTHERHOOD OF RURALISTS (founded 1975)
O Tokyo (England, 2002)
Oil and collage on board
Inscribed, signed and dated on the reverse A Fictitious Lady Wrestler:
Paul Morris Gallery, New York, Sir Peter Blake / And now we are 70, 16 November-21 December 2002
London, Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, The Brotherhood of Ruralists and the Pre-Raphaelites, June - July 2005
Description / Expertise
“Peter Blake is the most British of Artists; his feelings, subjects and types are all archetypally British. Yet at the same time his art is thoroughly individual. His painting has no parallel in Britain just as it has no equivalent abroad. It combines a brilliant technique with a personal approach which is strong, attractive and all his own (Alan Bowness, Peter Blake, Tate Gallery Exhibition, London 1983, page 7).”
Since the late 1950s, Blake’s work included imagery from music hall entertainment and wrestling matches. O Tokyo is part of a series of portraits of women wrestler identified with the flag of their country and very often framed with a figurine above. This finely painted oil shows the white painted face of a fictitious Japanese wrestler. On top of the frame is a tin figure of a Japanese monk wearing a samue, the traditional working wear of a Zen Buddhist.
Born in 1932 in Dartford, Kent, Peter Blake studied at Gravesend Technical College and School of Art. After National Service with the Royal Air Force he attended the Royal College of Art and was awarded a travelling scholarship to study popular art in Europe. He also was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College and subsequently taught there.
Peter Blake had his first solo exhibition in 1962 at the Portal Gallery in London. He holds the honour of being the initiator of Pop Art in Britain and one of the most important innovators of the movement in the world. His most well-known work is the album cover for Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which he designed for the Beatles in 1967. A major retrospective of his work was held in the Tate in 1983 and in the same year, he was elected to the Royal Academy, from which he has since resigned. In 2002, Peter Blake was awarded a knighthood for his services to art.