by Susan Glasspool

Philip King at Fort Belvedere

An exponent of the abstract school of sculpture, Philip King is today one of his country's most innovative and influential artists and internationally famous. He has held important exhibitions of his work all over the world and in 1968 represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition in Florence is being held in the splendid setting of Fort Belvedere, designed by Buontalenti for Ferdinando I dei Medici. A "gallery" that is almost unique in the world and certainly of enormous prestige. The over 100 sculptures tracing the artistÕs development over a period of 35 years are displayed both in the interior of the Fort (52 sculptures, as well as drawings and prints), and on the huge terraces outside (42 sculptures), which give on to a spectacular view over Florence and the Cupola by Brunelleschi. Although celebrated for his role in liberating sculpture from the dogma of "truth to materials" through his innovative use of plastic, glass fibre and fluorescent colours during the 1960's, Philip King has always continued to develop his creativity. His recent work makes a return to the human figure and explores new avenues of ceramic sculpture, fibreglass and bronze works for outdoors. The relationships between architecture and landscape in the exhibition represent a real challenge for the sculptor: he has in fact created several works especially for this occasion. The exhibition is organized by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and funded by the City Council of Florence, the British Council and the Henry Moore Foundation. A bronze cast will also be made of "Sun, Bird, Worm, House" (1986-90), and presented as a gift to the City of Florence after the exhibition.
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