Patrick Caulfield

English painter and printmaker (1936 - 2005)

Caulfield was born in London, although his parents were from the north of England. After attending evening drawing classes while serving in the Royal Air Force (1953 - 1956), Caulfield decided to study art full time. He began studying graphic design at the Chelsea School of Art and then transferred to the department of painting. He went on to study at the Royal College of Art between 1960 and 1963.

As a student Caulfield was influenced by the work of American abstract painters such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, but he only experimented with abstract work for a short time. Many of his early works are characterised by thick black drawing or an outline used to bring out the full strength of other colours.

Caulfield also visited Greece during his student years and admired the graphic quality of the murals in the prehistoric site of Knossos in Crete. He is of the opinion that the most celebrated art has always had a decorative purpose.

He is noted for his use of hardboard and supports as a cheap and readily available alternative to canvas, along with enamel paints. This choice of materials challenges the traditional separation between painting as a high art form and decorative art as being of an inferior status.

Caulfield received acclaim early on in his career through solo exhibitions and participation in group-shows by the New Generation of British artists. He represented Britain at the Fourth and Fifth Paris Biennales in 1965 and 1967, and at the 18th Sao Paolo Bienal in 1985.

In addition to painting, Caulfield has enjoyed the challenges of commercial projects, including commissions to design posters, book covers, ceramics, murals, tapestries, mosaics and stage sets.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
    1936-01-29
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Died
    2005-09-29
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
  • Cause of death
    Cancer
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