Phillip King CBE PPRA (b. 1934 Tunis – d. 2021 London)

 

Phillip King was one of the key sculptors of the last 70 years. He was an assistant to Henry Moore and a student and then contemporary of Anthony Caro. After graduating he became a key member of the group of young artists who re-imagined sculpture from the
1960s onwards.


King’s work was included in the seminal Primary Structures exhibition at Jewish Museum, New York in 1966 (a turning point in contemporary sculpture) alongside Carl Andre, Anthony Caro, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Morris and Robert Smithson. King represented Great Britain at the 1968 Venice Biennale (alongside Bridget Riley) and has also been the subject of ambitious museum survey shows at Whitechapel Gallery, London (1968), Kröller Muller National Museum, Netherlands (1974), Hayward Gallery, London (1981), Le Consortium, Dijon (2013) and Tate Britain, London (2014).


King is included in the most illustrious public collections in the world including Tate, London; MoMA, New York; Pompidou, Paris; MOCA, LA; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and many other national museums worldwide.


There are many works by King permanently installed in public places in major cities around the world including London (UK), Munich (Germany), Osaka (Japan), Rotterdam (the Netherlands). King also has works in major sculpture parks around the world including Yorkshire Sculpture Park (UK), Kistefos Museet (Norway) and Kröller Muller, the Netherlands. His final public sculpture will be unveiled in the French City of Rennes in the
autumn of 2021.


King was an incredible innovator and risk-taker and worked consistently throughout his career in many different media including ceramic, steel and wood and later also used plastics and PVC. King's larger constructivist forms have incorporated a sophisticated and highly personal use of colour and a poetic, even lyrical, use of form that belie their materials.

 

He was a committed teacher throughout his career, having taken professorships in the UK, Europe and the US. He was appointed President of the Royal Academy of Arts and a trustee of Tate.

Photo: Ana Escobar
Photo: Ana Escobar