Phillip King at Tate Britain

Celebrating Phillip King’s significant contribution to late 20th century sculpture,  Tate Britain will display six of the sculptor’s works from the 1960s in the Duveen Galleries.

Exposed to the new forms of American painting in the 60s, King began to create sculptural forms that distanced themselves from the figurative, expressionistic sculpture of the 1950s, which he was dissatisfied with. King further emphasised his detachment from conventional, representational sculpture by placing his works directly on the floor, avoiding the traditional format of placing sculpture on pedestals.

The artist’s use of innovative materials such as fibreglass gave him freedom to create shapes and structures that were not feasible with traditional media such as plaster. Influenced by Matisse, he also used colour to unify a sculpture, describing colour as “no longer subservient to the material but something on its own, to do with surface and skin”. Experimenting with colour, abstraction, construction and material, King made some of his salient works such as Genghis Khan (1963) and Rosebud (1962) in this period, both of which will be on display in this exhibition.

king1Phillip King. Genghis Khan 1963. Painted plastic. Courtesy of Tate

king2Phillip King. Rosebud 1962. Courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London

king3Phillip King. Green Steamer 1970. Painted steel. Courtesy of Tate

king4Phillip King. Dunstable Reel 1970. Painted steel. Courtesy of Tate

by Louise Lui
Phillip King is on show from December 8, 2014 until February 1, 2015, at BP Displays, Duveen Galleries, Tate Britain

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