Slant

1966
Painted arborite
214 x 548 x 191 cm
Edition of 3

Phillip King made Slant shortly after Slit. Both use similar arrangements of flat surfaces and both show a development of King's interest in the cone, manifest in other works such as Genghis Khan. The principle of ‘standing up’ was a preoccupation of King's at the time, as was the idea of ‘leaning.’ It is quite easy to see how Slant develops from the idea of planks leaning together, perhaps less easy to see how the shapes are arrived at from a cone. In developing his idea from Slit, Phillip King took a sheet of card, bent it, drew chevrons on it and then twisted it to arrive at the point where the form could be broken. The cut shapes were then assembled by sitting one on top of another. Flattened, the six elements could be reassembled into one open sheet with a bend in the middle. Phillip King discovered arborite, the material from which Slant is constructed, when he was investigating plastics. It is materially similar to formica; a hard plastic that can be machine cut and which is extremely durable. Arborite was manufactured in different colours, but not liking these, King painted the surface in matte eggshell paint, applied with a roller, to saturate the piece in strong colour. By soaking the forms with this colour King has highlighted the delicate formal qualities of the sculpture.

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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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