Peter Blake (1932-) Born in Dartford, Kent. Attended the Junior Art Department of Gravesend Technical College and School of Art from 1946 to 1949 and subsequently Gravesend School of Art from 1949 to 1951. Having been accepted at the Royal College of Art, London in 1950, he carried out his National Service in the RAF (1951-53) and went on to study at the Royal College from 1953, gaining a First Class Diploma in 1956. Blake received a Leverhulme Research Award to study popular art, taking him to Holland, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain for a year from 1956 to 1957. He went on to teach at St Martin’s School of Art, London (1960-62), Harrow School of Art (1960-63), Walthamstow School of Art (1961-64) and at the Royal College of Art (1964-76).

In 1961, Blake received First Prize in the Junior Section at the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. This led to his first one-man exhibition, held the following year at the Portal Gallery, London and subsequent solo shows at the Robert Fraser Gallery, London (1965) and at Leslie Waddington Prints, London (1969). Since the early '70s, his work has been exhibited regularly in one-man shows throughout the world, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, touring throughout Europe (1973-74), Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris (1984), Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo (1988) and the Govinda Gallery, Washington D.C. (1992).

His first Retrospective exhibition was held as early as 1969 at the City Art Gallery, Bristol. Subsequent Retrospectives were held in 1973, touring to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Brussels and Arnhem and at the Tate Gallery, London in 1983, touring to Hanover. Blake’s work has also been included in numerous key group exhibitions on an annual basis since 1954.

In 1975 he was the founding member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, along with Jann Haworth, Ann and Graham Arnold, David Inshaw and Annie and Graham Ovenden. They first exhibited as a group in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in 1976 and had a major group exhibition at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol in 1981, touring to Birmingham, Glasgow and the Camden Arts Centre, London.

In 1985, Blake designed the poster for Live Aid, the world’s largest ever multi-national pop concert in aid of famine relief in Africa. Similarly, in 1995 he was commissioned to design of the cover of Paul Weller’s album, Stanley Road.

Peter Blake was elected Royal Academician in 1981 (ARA 1974) and was awarded the CBE in 1983. In 1994 he was made the Third Associate Artist of the National Gallery, London, and in 1998 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, London. Blake lives and works in London.