Darwin

2011
Varnished stainless steel
280 x 280 x 280 cm
Edition of 3

Darwin was originally commissioned by Christ’s College, Cambridge to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. The sculpture itself encapsulates the process and journey of the idea and relates back to the individual importance of Charles Darwin and his impact with regards to history and science.

The composition of Darwin finds itself broken down into three different elements. The oval, triangle and square work together to represent something which lies beyond its mere physical form. The oval form symbolises evolution, the triangle is the young character of Charles Darwin and the square acts as a kind of gateway or window for the external world. These shapes interlock with each other and create a kind of philosophical harmony.

This sculpture was also featured in a recent survey of King’s sculpture dating back to the 1960’s. Four Decades with Colour, exhibited at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio displayed Darwin alongside a number of King’s sculptures. King’s use of vibrant colour and provocative hues has often imbued his sculpture with more than its sculptural physical quality, edging even further into the aesthetic balance which one might normally only explore through painting.

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About The Artist

Phillip King’s early works of the fifties were generally small and made in clay and plaster, they were described as being of a robust Brutalist and Surrealist nature. In 1962, he started to use fibreglass and colour, and seminal works such as ‘Rosebud’, ‘Genghis Khan’ and ‘Twilight’ brought King’s work to the attention of the art world in 1963. These gave way to large and small–scale abstract sculpture, which often combined various materials. In the late eighties, King turned to a more figurative way of working, before moving on to make large–scale ceramic vessels using a rough mix of clay and newspaper. During the nineties, King spent long periods working in Japan, learning to make ceramics on a very large scale. In later years, he returned to using colour in his work, covering solid forms with dry pigments and allowing them to drift, making free–formed shapes. Over the course of his career King has worked in a variety of different media including ceramic, steel, plaster, wood and, plastics and PVC. King's larger constructivist forms have incorporated a sophisticated and highly personal use of colour and a poetic, even lyrical, use of form that belie their materials.

Phillip King

Born: 1934

Other Artworks by Phillip King at CASS

2007

Sun and Moon

At the beginning of his career, Phillip King was celebrated for his abstract compositions. Sun and Moon elaborates upon …

2008

Sun's Roots II

Sun’s Roots II is another work of King’s that returns to his early works formal concern with the use of bold colour to d…

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