Peter Blake Facts

Peter Blake is an English artist from England, best known for his pop art collage pieces and for designing the record sleeve for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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Facts About Peter Blake

  • Peter Blake was born in Dartford, UK, in 1932.
  • He was evacuated from London as a child during World War II.
  • He attended Gravesend Technical College and the Royal College of Art in London.
  • His work titled On the Balcony was produced in the mid-1950s and combines pop culture images with fine art. Although it looks like a collage, all of the elements are painted.
  • Other of his early works of pop art include Self-Portrait With Badges, Girls with Their Hero, Captain Webb Matchbook, and The First Real Target.
  • His artwork was shown at the 1961 Young Contemporaries exhibition alongside the work of David Hockney and R. B. Kitaj.
  • He was also featured in a BBC pop art documentary called Pop Goes the Easel in 1962.
  • He famously designed the album sleeve for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP, but he has provided artwork for numerous other records, including Stanley Road by Paul Weller (1995), Stop the Clocks by Oasis (2006), Face Dances by The Who (1981), I Still Do by Eric Clapton (2016), and the Band Aid Do They Know It’s Christmas? charity single (1984).
  • In addition to his pop art work, Peter Blake has also produced paintings. In the early 1970s, he completed a series of watercolour paintings to illustrate an edition of Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
  • In 1991, he painted a portrait of the wrestler Kendo Nagasaki.
  • In 2008, Peter Blake created an updated version of his Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album artwork to support Liverpool’s bid to become European Capital of Culture 2008.
  • He updated the artwork again in 2012 to celebrate his 80th birthday. The new collage featured images of people who he had admired and been influenced by during his long career, including Twiggy, JK Rowling, Grayson Perry, Amy Winehouse, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Mick Jagger, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Stoppard, and Elvis Costello.
  • He is a supporter of Chelsea FC, and in 2010, he produced a collage to promote their 2010 kit.
  • He created the London Stands Together poster in 2020, and it was distributed via the Evening Standard newspaper.
  • Peter Blake was knighted in 2002 for services to art.
  • In 2005 he produced a set of collages titled Homage to Schwitters, based on the work of Kurt Schwitters.
  • Although he admired the Beatles, he was a bigger fan of the Beach Boys, and he also enjoyed the music of the Four Freshman, Dionne Warrick, Chet Baker, the Hi-Lo’s, the Kirby Stone Four, and Bo Diddley.
  • He is a big admirer of the work of Simon Rodia.
  • Some of his favourite books include Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ulysses by James Joyce.
  • He has vast collections of items and objects, including taxidermy, puppets, ornaments, toys, and folk art.

Audrey Flack Facts

Audrey Flack is an American artist working in the genre of photorealism. Her work incorporates painting, sculpture, and photography, and it often portrays women, everyday objects, and important moments in modern history.

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Facts About Audrey Flack

  • Audrey Flack was born in 1931 in Washington Heights in New York City, US.
  • She went to school at the High School of Music and Arts in New York, and she went on to earn a graduate degree from New York’s Cooper Union and a Fine Arts degree from Yale University. She also studied Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York.
  • Audrey Flack started out as an abstract expressionist painter, but in the 1960s she started to develop a photorealism approach.
  • In 1966, Audrey Flack was the first photorealist painter to have work included in the Museum of Modern Art (New York) collection.
  • Audrey Flack was one of the first painters to use photographs as the basis for her paintings. Her photorealist work is based around a cluttered and busy tabletop still life, including everyday objects such as lipstick tubes, perfume bottles, and fruit.

There is an instinct for realism, a powerful drive to reproduce oneself. The fascination of photorealistic paintings lies partly in their apparent replication of life, but these are not merely replications. These paintings are often out of life scale, varying from over life-size to under life-size, from brilliant, heightened color to pale, undertone hues.

Audrey Flack on Photorealism
  • In addition to being a painter, Audrey Flack is also a talented sculptor. Her sculptures often feature heroic and powerful women and goddesses from history and myth. Some of her sculptures include Medusa (1989), Egyptian Rocket Goddess (1990), and Sofia (1995).

I believe art cuts across time. Art lives forever.

Audrey Flack
  • Audrey Flacks has had her work shown in exhibitions and galleries in cities all over America, including New York, Tampa, Minneapolis, Louisville, San Francisco, Austin, Charlotte, Phoenix, and Roanoke.
  • Audrey Flack plays the banjo in the band Art Band. The band performs songs about famous artists, including Jackson Pollock, Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso, Mary Cassat, Lee Krasner, and Camille Claudel. A CD of their music was released in 2013.
  • She is inspired by Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Georges Braque, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Spanish sculptor Luisa Roldan.
  • Alongside Chuck Close, Wayne Thiebaud, and Malcolm Morely, Audrey Flack is considered one of the key artists of the photorealism movement. Some of her best-known photorealist works include Marilyn: Golden Girl and Fortune (Vanitas), World War II (Vanitas), and Wheel of Fortune.
  • Audrey Flack has written three books about art and her creative process. They are titled Audrey Flack On Painting, Audrey Flack: The Daily Muse, and Art and Soul: Notes on Creating.

Every still-life painter has her bag of tricks. You have your prop closet and just pull them out. One of the beauties of being an artist is that no one can tell me what to paint.

Audrey Flack in 1978
  • In a 1994 interview, Audrey Flack said she was intrigued by some of the great 19th cenury sculptors, including Willam Rush, Charles Grafly, Malvina Hoffman, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, and Hiram Powers.

What makes for great art is the courage to speak and write and paint what you know and care about.

Audrey Flack

Zaha Hadid Facts

Zaha Hadid was a famous architect, artist, and designer. She was sometimes called ‘The Queen of the Curve’ because her futuristic building designs often incorporated curved facades.

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Facts About Zaha Hadid

  • Zaha Hadid was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950.
  • Her father was an industrialist, and Zaha attended boarding schools in England and Switzerland.
  • She studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut and went on to study architecture in 1972 in London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, graduating in 1977.
  • She became a citizen of the UK, and she opened an architectural firm (Zaha Hadid Architects) in London in 1980.
  • Zaha taught architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge University, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University. She was also a guest professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
  • She died in 2016 of a heart attack while undergoing treatment for bronchitis. She was 65 years old. She is buried in Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, UK.

Your success will not be determined by your gender or your ethniity, but only on the scope of your dreams and your hard work to achieve them.

Zaha Hadid
  • She designed numerous buildings during her career, including the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, the BMW Factory Administrative Building in Leipzig, the Bridge Pavillion in Zaragoza, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, the Galaxy SOGO in Beijing, the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, the Vienna Univerity of Economics and Business Library and Learning Center, and the Port Authority Building in Antwerp.
  • Her design for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games Aquatics Centre was inspired by the geometry of moving water. The project cost more than £250 million to complete and the building houses three swimming pools and more than 17,000 seats.
  • Several projects she worked on were completed after her death, including Miami’s Scorpion Tower, Beijing’s Daxing International Airport, and the Salerno Maritime Terminal in Italy.

Her soaring structures left a mark on skylines and imaginations and in the process re-shaped architecture for the modern age.

Michael Kimmelman on Zaha Hadid (2016)
  • In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first female architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Award.
  • In 2012, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to architecture.

The idea is not to have any 90-degree angles.

Zaha Hadid describing her approach to architecture
  • By the time of her death, she had amassed a personal fortune of more than £70 million.
  • She is often cited as the greatest female architect.
  • She was an admirer of the architect Oscar Niemeyer’s spatial sensibility, and she was also influenced by the design of The Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • She was a big fan of clothes designed by Issey Miyake.

Albrecht Durer Facts

Albrecht Durer was a painter and printmaker from Germany. He was active during the German Renaissance and produced engravings, prints, paintings, and books.

Facts About Albrecht Durer

  • Albrecht Durer was born in 1471in Nuremberg (now in Germany, then a free city in the Holy Roman Empire).
  • His parents had 18 children, but only Albrecht and two of his siblings survived into adulthood.
  • His father was a goldsmith, and one of his older brothers, Hans Durer was a painter, and he trained Albrecht. He went on to become the apprentice of Michael Wolgemut (Nuremberg’s leading artist at the time) at the age of fifteen.
  • His 1484 Self-Portrait was completed when he was thirteen years old.
  • During the early-1490s, Durer traveled around Europe spending time in the cities of Frankfurt, Strasbourg, and Basel.

Sight is the noblest sense of man.

Albrecht Durer
  • From 1494 to 1495, Albrecht Durr spent time in Venice. He was inspired by the work of Giovani Bellini, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Lorenzo di Credi, and Andrea Mantegna. After setting up his own workshop in Nuremberg, he returned to Italy, staying there from 1505 to 1507.
  • He was in regular contact with many of Europe’s most talented artists, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini, and Leonardo da Vinci.
Adoration of the Magi – Albrecht Durer
  • Maximilian I (leader of the Holy Roman Empire) became Albrecht Durer’s key patron from 1512.
  • Three Durer engravings produced in 1513 and 1514 (Knight, Death and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514) are known as his master prints.
  • In addition to his works of art, Albrecht Durer also produced books, including Four Books on Human Proportion, Four Books on Measurement, and Various Lessons for the Fortification of Cities, Castles and Localities.
  • Some of his famous paintings included Adam and Eve (1507), The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (1508), Lot and His Daughters (1496-1499), and the Feast of the Rose Garlands.
  • He painted both with oil paints and with watercolours. Some of his works using watercolours included Innsbruck Castle Courtyard, Young Hare, and Tuft of Cowslips.
Albrecht Durer

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.

Albrecht Durer
  • He was friends with the astronomer Johannes Stabius, and they collaborated on a spherical world map project.
  • He often signed his artworks with a monogram (featuring a stylized A with a smaller D).
  • One of Albrecht Durer’s most famous works is his woodcut titled The Rhinoceros, produced in 1515.

The artist is chosen by God to fulfill his commands and must never be overwhelmed by public opinion.

Albrecht Durer
  • Albrecht Durer died in Nuremberg in 1528 at the age of 56.
  • Albrecht Durer’s house in Nuremberg, built in 1420, is now a museum, and it features a re-creation of Durer’s workshop.

Alma Thomas Facts

Alma Thomas was an African-American artist and teacher who is now recognised as an important artist of the 20th century.

Facts About Alma Thomas

  • Alma Thomas was born Alma Woodsey Thomas in 1891 in Columbus, Georgia, US.
  • She had three older siblings, her father was a businessman, and her mother was a dress designer.
  • As a child, Alma Thomas enjoyed making puppets, and sculptures, and she handcrafted plates using clay collected from a river close to the family home.
  • Her mother played the violin, and she taught Alma Thomas how to play.
  • In 1907 her family relocated to Logan Circle, Washington DC, in order to escape the racial violence occurring in Georgia. The US capital was segregated at the time, but it was more welcoming to African-American families than many other US cities at the time.
  • Alma Thomas attended Armstrong Technical High School. She was a good student and particularly liked science and architecture lessons.
  • She graduated in 1911, and she went on the study Kindergarten Education at Miner Normal School (now called the University of the District of Columbia). She qualified as a teacher in 1913.
  • In 1915, she got a job as a kindergarten teacher at the Thomas Garrett Settlement House in Wilmington, Delaware. She remained in this post until 1921.
  • At the age of 30, Alma Thomas enrolled at Howard University in 1921. Initially, she took classes in home economics with a view to specializing in costume design, but she soon transferred onto the Fine Art course, studying under James V. Herring.
  • She graduated in 1924, and she began teaching at Shaw Junior High School. A school for black pupils in the then-segregated Washington DC.
  • Alma Thomas worked at Shaw Junior High School for 35 years, occupying the same classroom. Artist Malkia Roberts was also a member of the school’s art department.
  • During the school’s summer breaks, Alma Thomas would travel to New York to visit art museums and galleries.
  • In 1943, James W, Herring (one of her former professors) and Alma Thomas opened the Barnett-Aden Gallery in Washington DC.
  • Alma Thomas studied at the American University in 1950. During this period, her painting style evolved from figurative, to cubist, to abstract expressionist.
  • Alma Thomas did not become a professional painter until she was in her late-sixties after she had retired from her teaching career.
  • Her post-retirement work is often compared to the work of Vasily Kandinsky because of how they both approached the use of colour.

The use of color in my paintings is of paramount importance to me. Through color I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness in my painting rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.

Alma Thomas
  • Her 1963 work titled Watusi (Hard Edge) was based on Henri Matisse‘s Snail. Alma Thomas changed the colours, and rearranged the elements to produce a new work.
  • She was friends with the opera singer Lillian Evans, and together they participated in 1963’s March on Washington. Alma Thomas produced a painting of the event in 1964.
  • Alma Thomas’ art style evolved again in the late 1960s. She began to create works that featured small rectangular shapes of intense colour.
  • At the age of 81 years old, Alma Thomas had a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
  • Alma Thomas never married. She shared the family house (now known as the Alma Thomas House and listed on the National Register of Historic Places) with her sister John Maurice Thomas (named for their father).
  • The paintings Alma Thomas produced in the latter stages of her life have been compared to the pointillist work of Georges-Pierre Seurat.
  • Alma Thomas died in 1978.

The degree of beauty in a picture depends upon the feeling for beauty in the artist and his power to express it.

Alma Thomas
  • In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama selected Alma Thomas’ Watusi (Hard Edge) to be one of the pieces to be exhibited in the White House. Her 1973 Sky Light painting was displayed in the Obama’s private living quarters.
  • In 2021, her painting Alma’s Flower Garden sold for $2.8 million. A Fantastic Sunset sold in 2019 for $2.6 million.
  • Some of her other most well-known works include Air View of a Spring Nursery (1966), Milky Way (1969), The Eclipse (1970), Red Rose Sonata (1972), and Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers (1968).
  • Alma Thomas’s work was inspired by the work of other Washington DC-based Colour Field painters, such as Gene Davis, Kenneth Noland, and Morris Louis.

Orla Kiely Facts

Orla Kiely is an Irish fashion designer, best known for her iconic Stem design.

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Facts About Orla Kiely

  • Orla Kiely was born in Ireland in 1963.
  • As a child, she enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and dressmaking.
  • In the 1970s, she made herself a pair of pink corduroy jeans, and she made her sister’s Confirmation outfit.
  • Orla Kiely trained as a textile designer at Dublin’s National College of Art and Design.
  • She went on to work as a textile and print designer in New York and then London (working for Esprit).
  • She also studied for a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London. She focused on knitwear.
  • In the 1990’s she began experimenting with using laminated fabrics to make handbags.
  • In 1997, Orla Kiely founded The Orla Kiely Partnership with her husband, Dermott Rowan.
  • Orla Kiely’s designs have appeared on ready-to-wear fashion garments, kitchenware, wallpaper, furniture, water bottles, handbags, and hats, to name just a few examples.
  • Her designs are inspired by a mid-century modern aesthetic. She is known for her iconic stem pattern (designed in 2000).
  • She describes her style as ‘strong, often minimal, and balanced’.

I like organised order. And clean lines are quite important. I do like small, and also huge – you can vary the gaps on different products and I love funny everyday things and how you can stylise motifs or elements – an animal, a car, a flower – swap it around and make them into a pattern. And I like a clash of prints, a contrast, to create a spark.

Orla Kiely
  • Orla Kiely and Dermott Rowan have two sons, Robert and Hamish.
  • Orla Kiely appeared on an 82c Irish postage stamp.
  • Orla Kiely’s celebrity fans include Kirsten Dunst, Scarlett Johansson, Kiera Knightly, Alexa Chung, Pippa Middleton, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
  • She has produced several books, including Pattern (2010), Home (2013), Numbers (2012), and Colours (2011).
  • She loves the fashion and design of the 1960s.
  • Stem is her most popular design. It is based on a rowan leaf.
  • Orla Kiely was made a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art.
  • She loves dogs, and she has had a pet labradoodle called Olive, and a westiepoo named Ivy.
  • Orla Kiely was a judge on BBC2’s 2016 TV show The Great Interior Design Challenge.
  • In 2018, the Orla Kiely standalone shops and her wholesale fashion business closed.
  • She was taught to knit by her grandmother.

I love that feeling of euphoria you get when you’re working on a design and you hit that moment when it’s there, you’ve cracked it. It makes you smile. It’s worth pushing to get to that point, to get that smiley feeling. Some designs you get that feeling quickly, others take longer. It’s not a formula, it literally is instinctual. You need to know when to stop too, when it’s just right.

Orla Kiely
  • Orla Kiely is inspired by nature, and she enjoys going on long walks.
  • She is sometimes called the ‘Queen of Prints’.
  • In 2011, Orla Kiely was awarded an OBE for services to business and the fashion industry.
  • Orla Kiely has designed furniture for Barker and Stonehouse. She has also worked with dozens of other companies, including John Lewis, Uniqlo, and Target.
  • She is a fan of classic Hollywood movies, and she loves the film The Birds.
  • Orla Kiely loves listening to music, and she is a fan of Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, the B-52’s, and Sufjan Stevens.

Claes Oldenburg Facts

Claes Oldenburg is an American sculptor, best known for his large public sculptures of oversize everyday objects. He has also produced drawings, paintings, and soft sculpture replicas of household objects.

Facts About Claes Oldenburg

  • Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1929.
  • He grew up in Chicago, US, where his father was stationed as a Swedish diplomat.
  • Claes Oldenburg attended the Latin School of Chicago. He went on to study Literature and Art History at Yale University. He took further art classes at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • He worked as a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago.
  • In 1953, Claes Oldenburg became a citizen of the United States.
  • He moved to New York in the mid-1950s, and he met a number of artists including Allan Kaprow, Red Grooms, and Jim Dine who were providing an alternative to the abstract expressionism that was the dominant art movement at that time.
  • In 1957, Claes Oldenburg created his first soft sculpure. This work is now known as Sausage and consists of a woman’s stockings stuffed with newspaper.
  • In 1960, he experimented with making sculptures of simple figures, letters, and signs. He mainly constructed them from newspaper, cardboard, and burlap (hessian). After that, he began to use chicken wire coated with canvas soaked with plaster and layered with enamel paint. Everyday objects were the subjects of these sculptures.
  • In the 1960s, Claes Oldenburg created numerous performance art ‘happenings’ (events).
  • In 1961, he created The Store, a month-long exhibition of sculptures, mainly based on consumer goods.

If you look at a thing, it always comes to life in some way. I like form of every kind, especially anything surprising that a thing can be, and I’m there to watch and build it into my work.

Claes Oldenburg
  • From the 1970s onwards, Claes Oldenburg has mainly worked on public commissions. Trowel I is a sculpture of an oversize garden tool, and Spoonbridge and Cherry features a usable bridge made from a spoon with a cherry balanced on top.
  • His other works included Typewriter Eraser Scale X, Free Stamp, Toppling Ladder With Spilling Paint, Giant Binoculars, Dropped Cone, Flying Pins, Giant Pool Balls, The Garden Hose, Screw Arch, Plug, Shuttlecocks, and Paint Torch.
  • Most of Claes Oldenburg’s public works were created in collaboration with his wife Coosje van Bruggen.

I work in all kinds of media. Certain ones – such as cardboard, foam and soft materials – I can handle myself, but I need help when it comes to sewing or metallic pieces, so I have a number of factories that I liaise with.

Claes Oldenburg
  • Claes Oldenburg’s work has appeared in exhibitions and installations in cities all over the world, including New York, London, Washington DC, Seoul, Kansas City, Middlesbrough, Eindhoven, Milan, and Bonn.
  • Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen own Château de la Borde in France’s Loire Valley. They renovated the house and decorated it with artwork and designer pieces by Charles and Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Alvar Aalto, Frank Gehry, and Le Corbusier.
  • In 2009, Claes Oldeburg’s Typewriter Eraser (one piece out of three manufactured) sold at auction for more than $2 million, and in 2015 Clothespin Ten Foot sold for more than $3.5 million.
  • He has property in New York, California, and France.
  • Claes Oldenburg has been credited with ‘making the hard soft, and the small colossal’.

I think in terms of surprises. A day can be full of surprises. You never know what is going to come the next day, how you are going to wake up and what you are going to think about.

Claes Oldenburg
  • He is an avid diarist and notetaker, and he has kept a diary since the mid-1950s.

Joël Penkman Facts

Joël Penkman is artist and illustrator best known for her paintings of food.

Facts About Joël Penkman

  • Joël Penkman was born in New Zealand in 1979.
  • She currently lives in Liverpool, UK.
  • She studied Graphic Design at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts in New Zealand.
  • She moved to England and worked as a freelance graphic designer for 6 years.
  • When she is painting food, she begins by taking lots of photographs, and then she uses Photoshop to combine parts of the images to create an image she is happy with.
  • She paints in egg tempura. This is an old painting method, most popular in the 1400s. The paint is made by combining egg yolk and handground paint pigment. The paint dries very fast and it must be applied in layers.
  • Egg tempura paint is not flexible enough to be painted onto standard canvases or paper. As a result, Joël Penkman prepares wooden boards coated with genuine gesso. Each gesso board must be sanded and polished before the egg tempura paint can be applied.
  • Most of her paintings are started with blue brushstrokes.
  • It usually takes her between one and two weeks to complete a large painting.
  • Biscuits in a Line was the first painting she produced in her signiature style.

Look at other artists for inspiration but it’s important to find and develop your own style so you stand out from the crowd.

Joël Penkman
  • Joël Penkman is an admirer of the still life paintings of Wayne Thebaud and Lisa Milroy. She also likes the work of George Shaw. Andrew Wyeth, Grahame Sydney, and Edward Hopper.
  • Joël Penkman has produced artwork for a number of clients, including McDonald’s, Chronicle Books, the Financial Times, Esquire, The Fine Cheese Co, Eat, and Bombay Sapphire.

Food triggers memories and emotion, I like that people can bring something of themselves to the artworks.

Joël Penkman
  • Her art work has been used to illustrate, or has been featured in, several books, including The Taste of America by Colman Andrews, Cool Painting by Carolina Amell, and A Big Important Art Book by Daniella Krysa.

I love food, and I love to paint, so combining the two seemed like a good idea. My compositions are simple still-life studies with clean backgrounds to make easier for individuals to make a connection. Food triggers memories and emotion, I like that people can bring something of themselves to the artworks.

Joël Penkman
  • Although Joël Penkman mostly paints food (cakes, biscuits, sweets, packets of Monster Munch crisps, vegetables, hotdogs, desserts, fruit, and fishfingers), she has also painted a variety of other still-life subjects, including buttons, teapots, teacups, ornaments, wallets, watches, and stacks of books.
  • She is an admirer of art made in the 1920s.
  • When she isn’t painting, Joël Penkman enjoys cooking, gardening, going to car boot sales, and renovating old furniture.
  • She has had a pet tabby cat called Molly.
  • She would like to learn how to make ceramics.
  • Her husband is called James.

Eduardo Paolozzi Facts

Eduardo Paolozzi was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He is said to be the pioneer of the Pop Art movement.

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Facts About Eduardo Paolozzi

  • Eduardo Paolozzi was born in Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1924.
  • He was the son of Italian immigrants from Viticuso in Lazio. Eduardo Paolozzi’s parents ran a shop selling ice cream and chocolates. They made their ice cream in the cellar.
  • He had a sister called Yolanda who was ten years younger than him.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi spent the summers in Italy with his grandparents, and he grew up fluent in both English and Italian.
  • In 1940, following the outbreak of World War 2, Eduardo Paolozzi was interned (imprisoned without charge because he was deemed an enemy citizen) along with the majority of other Italian men living in Britain at the time. His detainment lasted for three months.
  • Tragically, Eduardo Paolozzi’s father, uncle, and grandfather drowned when a ship taking them to Canada was sunk by a German U-boat.
  • In 1943, he attended the Edinburgh College of Art, and from 1944 to 1947 he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art at the University College London.
  • From 1947 to 1949, Eduardo Paolozzi moved to Paris, France, and he got to know the artists Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, Jean Arp, Fernand Leger, and Constantin Brancusi.
Eduardo Paolozzi sculpture
  • He returned to London and set up a studio in Chelsea. The rooms were filled with objects collected by Eduardo Paolozzi, including models, toys, books, sculptures, materials, and tools. Many of these items were used in his artwork.
  • In 1952, Eduardo Paolozzi founded the Independent Group, a group of artists who met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and were thought to be the forerunners of the Pop Art movement.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi’s 1947 collage titled I was a Rich Man’s Plaything is considered by many to be the first work of Pop Art.
  • In 1955, he moved to Thorpe-le-Soken in Essex with his family, and with Nigel Henderson (an artist and photographer) he set up Hammer Prints Ltd, a company producing textiles, ceramics and wallpaper.
  • Although he has worked with numerous mediums over his career (paper collage, ceramics, textiles) he is possibly best known for his sculptures. He often described his artwork as surrealist.

 I try to reject the ordinary ways of making the art image.

Eduardo Paolozzi (1971)
  • In the 1960s, he produced a series of silkscreen prints full of pop culture references and technological imagery.
  • During the 1970s, he had a studio in Munich, Germany.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi designed mosaics for London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station in 1982.
  • In 1968, he was made a CBE, and he joined the Royal Academy of Arts in 1979.
  • He produced a series of tapestries for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1980.
  • In 1989, Eduardo Paolozzi was knighted as a Knight Bachelor.
  • He produced the artwork for the cover of Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway album.
  • His bronze sculpture Netwon after Blake, completed in 1995, is located in the British Library’s forecourt, and his sculpture called A Miximus Ad Minima is in Kew Gardens.
  • He wrote several books during his career, including Recurring Themes, Junk and the New Arts and Crafts Movement, and Metalfisikal Translations.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi was good friends with Peter Boizot, the founder of the Soho Jazz Festival, and the Pizza Express restaurant chain.
  • He suffered a stroke in 2001. Following this, he used wheelchair to get around. He died in 2005 at the age of 81.
  • Eduardo Paolozzi loved American culture and he often included American advertisements and magazine images in his collages. He was also intrigued by the relationship between man and machines. His sculptures sometimes reflected this with scraps of metal taking on crude figurative forms.
  • His work was influenced by Surrealism and Cubism.

I don’t want to make prints that will help people to escape from the terrible world. I want to remind them.

Eduardo Paolozzi (1971)

Sonia Boyce Facts

Sonia Boyce is a British artist. she was initially best-known for her drawings, but is now most well-known for her collaborative performance art projects and her art installations.

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Facts About Sonia Boyce

  • Sonia Boyce was born in 1962 in Islington, London, UK.
  • She went to Eastlea Comprehensive School in Canning Town, and then attended the East Ham College of Art and Technology to complete Foundation Course in Art & Design. From 1980-83, she studied for a Fine Art degree at Stourbridge College in Birmingham.

I thought I was going to be a dancer when I was younger. Other than that I thought I might carry on working in the cheese department at British Home Stores.

Sonia Boyce
  • Sonia Boyce’s artwork has evolved a great deal during her artistic career. She began by making drawings using chalk and pastels. Many of these early 1980s drawings focused on the subjects of race and identity, and she often included herself in the images.
  • In the 1990s, Sonia Boyce began to incorporate photography, film, graphic design, collage, and performance into her work. Her work became more complex, and it addressed issues around black representation and racism.
  • Sonia Boyce’s artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums in cities all over the world, including London, Lisbon, Brighton, Portland, Venice, Oxford, Innsbruck, Amsterdam, and Nice.
  • In 2007, Sonia Boyce was awarded an MBE for services to art, and in 2019, she was received an OBE.
  • In 2016, she was made a member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
  • In 2020 Sonia Boyce became the first black woman to represent the UK at the Venice Biennale.
  • Her ongoing work title Devotional was begun in 1999 and features an ever-changing collection of pictures, magazine articles, drawings, and paintings relating to Black Britsh female singers.

The question of race, the question of gender, of sexuality, of ecology—what can be called “issue-based” subjects—all of these things are constantly emerging, and are irrepressible.

Sonia Boyce
  • She has taught Fine Art studio practice and technique for over 30 years. She lectured at Goldsmith’s College in London where one of her students was Gillian Wearing.
  • Her work can be seen in the collections of London’s The Tate Modern, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Government Art Collection, and The Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre.
  • In 1987 Sonia Boyce was also the first black British female artist to have a painting purchased by the Tate.
  • She has a studio in Brixton, London.
  • Sonia Boyce is a big admirer of the work of Frida Kahlo. Her work has also been influenced by the artists Margaret Harrison, Kate Walker, and Monica Ross.
  • She has also expressed admiration for the work of Lygia Clark, David Medalla, William Morris, Andy Warhol, Suzanne Lacy, Adrian Piper, Valie Export, Vito Acconci, and Susan Hiller.
  • She is close friends with the French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira.
  • Sonia Boyce is constantly looking for artefacts relating to black women who have contributed to British cultural life. She often visits charity shops to look for cassettes, records, and CDs to add to her collection.