SIR PETER BLAKE CBE (born 1932)
BROTHERHOOD OF RURALISTS (founded 1975)
POP ART (1958-c.1975)
Memories of Place - Paris (France, 2005)
Collage and mixed media assemblage
Inscribed and signed on lower edge: Memories of Place. 'Paris'. A walk through the Tuileries gardens from Place de la Concorde to the Louvre. Peter Blake.
(10.35 inches wide)
(1.77 inches deep)
London, Waddington Galleries, Peter Blake 1-10 (Collages, Constructions, Drawings & Sculpture) & The Marcel Duchamp Paintings, 19 October - 12 November 2005, catalogue number 8a, page 46, reproduced pages 25 and 46, detail on the front cover
Description / Expertise
For me, pop art is often rooted in nostalgia, wrote Britain’s principal Pop artist, Peter Blake in 1963 (1). To the artist, nostalgia represents a celebration of the past rather than a lament of times gone by; memories of places, people and an era.
Memories of Place – Paris was one of a group of eight collages on this theme, exhibited in Blake’s one man show at Waddington Galleries in 2005. He presented the exhibition as a numerical ascent, with each of the ten groups consisting of the number of works that corresponded with its catalogue number. In the Memories of Place series (no. 8) he assembles sentimental memorabilia collected from eight walks in England, France and America. In one he looks back to a day trip to Brighton many years ago with his two little girls, whilst in another he has assembled the debris from around the rocks outside David Hockney’s beach house in Los Angeles. Each work is accompanied by a short narration which invites us to share his experience more vividly. Peter Blake is renowned for his love of gathering and collecting the ephemera of life, of memories, of dreams and whimsies, sometimes mingled with those of other historical fantasists. Possessions he regards as symbolic of his relationships with his world, carefully questioning the personal significance of each object in this respect. The scraps of tickets, fragments of plastic, driftwood, pebbles and sycamore leaf in A walk through the Tuileries gardens are evocative and ephemeral souvenirs, gathered at the time and collated later perhaps with a whiff of romance. His image takes us, in turn, on a stroll down the wide gravel, under the autumnal trees, a lingering taste of saucisson and red wine on our palate and with a sudden impulse to take a turn on the Carroussel.
Peter Blake regards assemblage and collage as an important means of expression in the form of a significant conceptual statement. As a student at the Royal College of Art, he constructed a Make Your Own Collage (1955) in the manner of painting by numbers, and fifty years later, at the Waddington exhibition, he pays homage to previous collagists: Max Ernst, Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters.
(1) Studio International, 1963