Philip Core

I was interviewed this morning for a German website about collecting.   The result has been that I have spent the rest of the day remembering things that I should have mentioned.   One of the artists we knew in the late 1970s was Philip Core, an extravagant and in many ways remarkable American artist, who arrived in London in the mid-1970s and lived in a flat in what was known as the Kennington triangle (not the Elephant and Castle as it says in Wikipedia) which he painted completely black.  I remembered that he made his name on a television quiz show about art on which he appeared jointly with Maggi Hambling and George Melly.   But I completely forgot to mention that one of the first works of art which we acquired (at considerable expense) was a large picture by Core entitled The Double Triangle which he had exhibited in an exhibition shown by Francis Kyle framed in rope and which I had to walk across the Elephant and Castle in a high wind.   I hope it’s rolled up in the attic.


6 thoughts on “Philip Core

  1. Martin Hopkinson says:

    A leading mediaevalist art historian in Glasgow also lived in a flat painted black at this date – and another room of his was totally papered in silver foil.
    The use of black may have come into fashion because of the way in which the famous poet Rev R.S. Thomas decorated his 12th century parish church, St Hywyn, ‘the cathedral of Llyn’ at Aberdaron on the Llyn peninsula, where he was vicar from 1967 to 1978. His wife was the artist Mildred ‘Elsi’ Eldridge. They did not have a vacuum cleaner , allegedly because he could not stand the noise.

  2. Martin Hopkinson says:

    Having now looked at Core’s life on wikipedia and seen his interest in Beardsley and Knopff and his association with Philippe Jullian, when he was working on his Les Symbolistes , I think that Huysmans’ A Rebours was probably his inspiration [diner noir]
    Incidentally, every room of the home of a woman who lived in Hammersmith near my wife to be in the early 1970s was painted black
    My Glasgow friend, however, was more likely into a certain kind of pop music/perormances

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