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date: 20 October 2019

King, Philliplocked

(b Kheredine, nr Carthage, Tunisia, May 1, 1934).
  • Lynne Cooke

Extract

(b Kheredine, nr Carthage, Tunisia, May 1, 1934).

British sculptor. A leading figure among the group of young British sculptors known as the New Generation who came to critical prominence in the mid-1960s, he read modern languages at Cambridge (1955–7) before turning seriously to sculpture. After a postgraduate year at St Martin’s School of Art in London from 1957 to 1958 and a year as assistant to Henry Moore, King began teaching at St Martin’s with Anthony Caro and Eduardo Paolozzi, both of whom influenced the semi-figurative Brutalist sculpture, which he was then making in clay and plaster. During a trip to Greece in 1960 he discovered, from the example of Greek architecture, that there could be an art that was, as he saw it, ‘of’ nature without resembling nature. The next year, on a visit to Documenta 2 in Kassel, he was struck by the contrast between the mannered clichés of contemporary European sculpture, with its eviscerated tortured forms, and the large-scale ambition and optimism of American Abstract Expressionist painting. The recent shift in Caro’s thinking about sculpture, far more than his actual work, further reinforced the radical change that then took place in King’s aesthetic. Works such as ...

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