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Phillip King PRA (1934 - 2021)

RA Collection: People and Organisations

Phillip King was born in Tunisia in 1934, arrived in England in 1945, and studied modern languages at Cambridge University from 1954 to 1957. He began to make sculpture during his time at university and from 1957 to 1958 studied sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art, where Anthony Caro was teaching. King taught at St Martin’s for a year before working as an assistant to Henry Moore, where he gained experience working on a larger scale.

In 1964 King had his first of many solo exhibitions at the Rowan Gallery. He also had several solo shows in America in the 1960s. He established a major reputation in both group and solo shows in Britain and overseas using a variety of materials from fibreglass and metal through to wood and slate. He has had several retrospective exhibitions, including one at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1968) and at the Hayward Gallery (1981). He was commissioned to create work for Expo ’70 in Tokyo. Further retrospectives of his work were held at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1997, and at Forte de Belvedere, Florence in 1997. King was only the second English sculptor to be given this honour, the first being Henry Moore.

Phillip King was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1967 to 1969. He taught at St Martin’s School of Art from 1959 until 1980, and was Professor of Sculpture at Hochschule der Künste, Berlin (1979-80). He was Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London from 1980 to 1990, and was made Professor Emeritus at the College in 1990. He went on to be elected Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools, London in 1990, a post which he held until his election as President of the Royal Academy in 1999. King was President until 2004.


Royal Academician


Born: 1 May 1934 in Tunis, Tunisia

Died: 27 July 2021

Nationality: British

Elected ARA: 12 May 1977

Elected RA: 4 May 1988

Elected Senior RA: 1 October 2009

President from: 1999 - 2004

Professor of Sculpture: 1989 - 1999

Gender: Male

Preferred media: Sculpture

Works by Phillip King in the RA Collection

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Works associated with Phillip King in the RA Collection

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Associated archives

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