Patrick Caulfield, CBE, RA was an English painter and printmaker known for his bold canvases, which often incorporated elements of photorealism within a pared-down scene.
Patrick Caulfield studied at Chelsea School of Art from 1956 to 1960, and during this time he won two prizes which funded a trip he made to Greece and Crete upon graduation. The visit to the island proved important, with Caulfield finding inspiration in the Minoen frescoes and the bright, hard colours on Crete. Progressing to the Royal College of Art from 1960 to 1963, his contemporaries included David Hockney and Allen Jones. He taught at Chelsea School of Art from 1963–71 and in 1964, he exhibited at the New Generation show at London's Whitechapel Gallery, which resulted in him being associated with the pop art movement. This was a label Caulfield was opposed to throughout his career, seeing himself rather as "a 'formal' artist".
From the mid-1970s he incorporated more detailed, realistic elements into his work; After Lunch (1975) is an early example. Still-life: Autumn Fashion (1978) contains a variety of styles – some objects have heavy black outlines and flat colour, but a bowl of oysters is depicted more realistically and other areas are executed with looser brushwork. Caulfield later returned to his earlier, more stripped-down style of painting.
Caulfield's paintings are figurative, often portraying a few simple objects in an interior. Typically, he used flat areas of simple colour surrounded by black outlines. Some of his works are dominated by a single hue.
In 1987, Caulfield was nominated for the Turner Prize for his show The Artist's Eye at the National Gallery in London and in 1996 he was made a CBE.
Caulfield died in 2005 but his work is still loved and revered by many, with a number of artists citing him as a major influence. At auction his paintings and limited edition prints have seen steady increases over the last 20 years and are frequently seen at the major auction houses.