Sir Peter Blake is one the country’s most enduringly popular and important living artists and he has collected since childhood. This exhibition will explore how Blake’s collections reflect his abiding preoccupations and have informed, shape and feature in his own work.
A Museum for Myself at the Holburne will display many of the extraordinary objects from his collections and important works by Blake himself together for the first time. His astonishing collections include Victorian collage and folk art, pop ephemera, works by his artist friends, showbiz autographs and marching troupes of toy elephants. They include such such strange and wonderful things as General Tom Thumb’s boots, Max Miller’s shoes and Ian Dury’s Rhythm Stick and the exhibition at the Holburne will explore the creative relationship that Blake has with this cabinet of curiosities.
The exhibition will include works by the artist from throughout his career including his pioneering works such as Locker (1958) with its collage of images of Brigitte Bardot; collages of found objects including the title work A Museum for Myself (1982) an arrangement of some of his favourite things to more recent works such as Elvis Shrine (2003) and his series of Museums of Black and White.
Arranged around him in his West London studio Blake’s collection offers a wonderful kaleidoscopic mirror of his mind and obsessions which have been reflected in his work for decades. There you find stuffed animals in tableau from Mr Potter’s Museum of Curiosities; Punch and Judy Puppets; the paraphernalia of the fairground and souvenirs of the wrestlers and pop-stars who feature in his art. At the studio door stands the waxwork of Sonny Liston which features on the cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album, Blake’s most famous work.
The exhibition will be the opening show at the renewed and transformed Holburne Museum, itself built around an individual’s personal collection. It will be the first in what is hoped will be a series of exhibitions that explore the figure of the collector and the creative act of collection. Indeed in Blake’s case the collection itself can be seen as a work of art.
The book to accompany the exhibition will include an interview with Peter Blake and will be designed by the award-winning designers Fuel who have collaborated with a number of artists on books including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin and Juergen Teller.
Peter Blake will be in conversation with the Holburne\’s Director at 6.30pm on 5 July more>>
Roper Exhibition Gallery
10am to 5pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm
£6.50 / £5.50