Early in his career, Blake was included in group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, which was co-founded by Roland Penrose. He had his first solo exhibition in 1960. In the ‘Young Contemporaries’ exhibition of 1961 at the ICA, Blake exhibited alongside David Hockney and was first identified with the emerging British Pop Art movement. Blake and Penrose became friends during this time, enjoying discussions about art in the ICA bar with Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi.
Blake is probably best known for co-creating the highly acclaimed album sleeve art for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Blake became a Royal Academian in 1981, a CBE in 1983 and was knighted in 2002 for his services to art. Retrospectives of Blake’s work were held at the Tate in 1983 and Tate Liverpool in 2008. His works are held in public collections all over the world.