Sun and Moon

2007
Painted steel
860 x 480 x 300 cm
Edition of 3

At the beginning of his career, Phillip King was celebrated for his abstract compositions. Sun and Moon elaborates upon aspects of this early work, incorporating bold colour used to define space and forms such as the cone which he believes grounds his work to the earth. Sun and Moon is grounded to the earth by a modified cone form. A sculpted sun lies at the apex of this piece and its rays shine down to the earth’s surface, actually providing its support. The moon and two towers, which can be read as symbolic of the Earth, sit in awkward balance atop the cone, seemingly in the midst of orbit. Unlike his early work, King uses these formal devices as elements to create a figurative composition. Following his appointment as Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, King became interested in figuration because it allowed the viewer to make free associations. Symbols relating to myth, fate and astrology began to appear in King’s work at this time. He also developed an interest in the four elements. The sculpture Sun and Moon reflects these figurative interests.

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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

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…

2011

Darwin

Darwin was originally commissioned by Christ’s College, Cambridge to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin…

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