Patrick Caulfield 1936-2005

Overview

Patrick Caulfield trained at the Chelsea School of Art, in 1956, and the Royal College of Art, 19601963, just a year below David Hockney.

 

Preferring to be coined a ‘formal’ painter than be linked to emerging Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, Caulfield experimented with a range of flat-imaged objects, employing a reduced colour palette and thick black outline.

 

Caulfield sought inspiration not from American painters such as Jasper Johns, but from the renowned Cubist artist Juan Gris. He admired his precision and even painted Portrait of Juan Gris in his honour.

 

By the mid-1960s, following successful mixed and solo shows at Whitechapel Gallery and Robert Fraser Gallery in London, Caulfield moved away from acrylic on board to work with oil on canvas. Consequently, his work became larger, focused on internal architecture and elements of photo realism.

 

In 1971, Caulfield was able to give up teaching and dedicate all his energy to painting. Soon after, a monograph was written by Christopher Finch. With the benefit of more available time, Caulfield developed his interests in light and shade, with a growth of vibrancy and concentration of complex interior scenes.  

 

Caulfield also enjoyed a range of other artistic projects, including a tapestry for the 1975 Waddington Galleries exhibition. In the 1990s, he was commissioned by The Ivy restaurant to design a stained glass window called Paper Moon. Additionally, his designs for posters and book covers were always in demand.

 

His early demise, aged 69, only increased public interest in his work. Tate Britain held a major show of Caulfield’s work in 2013.

Works