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Image of ISC Lifetime Achievement Award, copy of Head from the figure of a woman [Cycladic; Keros-Syros culture]
Phillip King


Born in Tunis, Tunisia in 1934, Phillip King is an artist whose style has developed significantly over the course of his career. While King was initially studying modern languages at Christ’s College, Cambridge from 1954-57, he was already experimenting with sculpture. After graduating Cambridge, he chose to further pursue his interest in sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art from 1957-1958. During this time and continuing into his early career, King adopted a Brutalist-Surrealist style that was expressed in his small scale clay and plaster sculptures.

Starting in 1962, Phillip King began working in fiberglass and color, creating pieces that continue to inspire artists today. After working with such media for a period of time, King chose to again experiment in the late 80’s, this time mixing materials including steel, wood, and ceramics. In the 1990’s, King focused his works further by studying large scale ceramics in Japan.

In addition to creating art, Phillip King was also an active teacher. Immediately after finishing his post graduate studies, King served as an assistant to Henry Moore and then went on to become a full time teacher at St. Martin’s from 1959-1980, a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London from 1980-1990, a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools, London from 1990-1999, and finally the President of the Royal Academy from 1999-2004. Phillip King’s impact on the sculpture community has been recognized in a number of ways including being only the second British artist to have an exhibition at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence.

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photo credit: Phillip King, Sun and Moon. 2007.  Painted stainless steel, 860 x 480 x 300 cm, edition of 3. Image Courtesy of Cass Sculpture Park.

Phillip King, Sun’s Roots Maquette. 2000.  Bronze, 38 x 62 x 27 cm.  edition of 10.  Image Courtesy of Cass Sculpture Park.
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