'captured not just his workspace, but also his soul' wallpaper magazine

'The star of this years fair' evening standard 

Peter Blake used images from popular culture in the 1950s and was pushing the boundaries of art, creating a debate about whether there should be “low” or “high” culture.

The Installation is an architecturally striking recreation of a slice of Peter Blake’s West London studio, torn and broken away like the fragment of a collage, housing his creative work area and surrounded by elements of the obsessive personal collection that inhabits it, celebrating art and the process of collecting as being part of a whole

Alongside these objects and fragments from the studio, the space is dotted with key works from the artist’s career which has spanned over seven decades including loans from prominent private collections and works that have never been shown outside of the studio. The booth enables these works to be viewed in the environment in which they were created amongst the narrative of discoveries that is both his library and inspiration, and gives the visitor the sense of a private studio visit.

He was greatly inspired by Joseph Cornell, the pioneering assemblage artist, and a fellow poet of yearning, and they both dreamt about icons of popular culture, exotic settings, and created narratives with collages. The studio and collection being full of invented small worlds,stories and narratives made from  curated  arrangements of figurines, galleons, photographs and engravings, constantly being rearranged into new meanings. Even the kitchen window sill, as pointed out by his wife Chrissie, is recreated here and rammed with a cast of small figurines and cartoon characters.

His fathers Hornby O gauge model railway, that ran around the back garden of their house in Dartford here weaves its way around his studio space, tracing his journey from Dartford and Gravesend School of Art, past his collected model Galleons, Wrestling Memorabilia and posters from the wrestling matches his mother took him to, and past elements of his collection born of his fascination with English Popular crafts kindled by Enid Marx, his tutor at Gravesend for one term, and curator of the Black Eyes and Lemonade exhibition at the Whitechapel in 1951 shown here with the original poster.

Marking the importance of Popular music to Peter the installation has a soundtrack curated from his vinyl collection playing on the vintage Hifi and turntable that he plays everyday as he works. From the Everly Brothers, to Chet Baker in Paris, Peggy Lee, and from his favourite film as a child 'Somewhere over the Rainbow', to his close friends Ian Drury, and Brian Wilson, via the Spice Girls downloadable on Spotify.

And we recorded an interview with Damian Hirst talking to Peter about his collection, art and his studio to be listened to whilst you visited the installation. 

'an all encompassing sensory experience, quite frankly, a tour de force.' culture whisper

'most definitely a winner' art-sy 

'an archive of inspiration' frieze

Robin Brown