Very Sad News - Honorary Fellow Professor Phillip King CBE PPRA

KingThe College is sad to announce the death of its Honorary Fellow, Professor Phillip King CBE PPRA (m.1954) on 29th July 2021.

Phillip was born in Tunisia in 1934 and came to England in 1945.  He then came up to Christ’s where he read Modern and Medieval Languages between 1954 and 1957.  It was here at Christ’s where he first started to sculpt. He went on to study sculpture at Saint Martin’s School of Art from 1957 to 1958, where Anthony Caro was teaching at the time.  (Anthony Caro was also an alumnus of the College m.1942 and an Honorary Fellow).    Phillip then taught at Saint Martin’s for a year before working as an assistant to Henry Moore, gaining crucial experience working on a larger scale.

He was a leading figure among the group of young British sculptors known as the “New Generation” who came to critical prominence in the mid-1960s and was one of Anthony Caro’s best known students even though the two artists are near contemporaries.   Both Phillip and Anthony Caro were included in the seminal 1966 exhibit, Primary Structures, at the Jewish Museum in New York representing the British influence on the “New Art”.

Phillip was awarded a CBE in 1975 and was made a Royal Academician I990.  Also in 1990 Phillip was made Professor Emeritus of the Royal College and was the President of the Royal Academy of Art from 1999 to 2004.  In 2010 he was the recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.  In 2011 his work was represented in the Royal Academy exhibition on Modern British Sculpture which explored British sculpture of the twentieth century.

Professor King was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2002 and awarded a Cambridge University Honorary Degree in 2012.  He generously gifted a piece of sculpture to the College, ‘Anglepoise’ now situated in the Master’s Garden and unveiled in 2003.  The Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation then commissioned 'Darwin' in 2009 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth as part of the College's celebrations in 2009 and which is now situated outside the Yusuf Hamied Centre.