Twentieth Century Artists in the Graves Gallery

Patrick Caulfield

Patrick Caulfield was a painter and printmaker known for his bright and bold images. Caulfield rose to prominence during the 1960s as one of the new generation of British painters. He quickly became identified as a Pop Artist , alongside contemporaries such as David Hockney and Joe Tilson. He disliked this association however, as he was more interested in the traditions of European painting.

Caulfield’s work was heavily influenced by the abstract styles of Juan Gris and Rene Magritte and a deep admiration for the American painter Edward Hopper. The poetic loneliness inherent in much of Hopper’s work comfortably found its way into Caulfield’s view of contemporary British life.

Caulfield’s paintings are figurative, often portraying a few simple objects in an interior. Characterised by their abstract settings and ironic representations, they are instantly recognisable through their use of bright, flat colours and black outlines; two techniques synonymous with the Pop Art movement. Unlike other Pop Artists however, Caulfield declined to use subjects from popular culture, preferring instead to paint subject matter from every day life.

One of the most widely admired and well respected British arts of the 20th century, Caulfield’s artistic output was minimal in comparison with some of his contemporaries. He was a slow and exacting worker, completing on average, between four and six works a year.

Listen to students' responses to Caulfield's paintings - see Audio links below.

The Hermit (1966)  The Estate of Patrick Caulfield. All rights reserved, DACS 2008

Map link: Royal College of Art, where Patrick Caulfield studied.»

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