“It is with great sadness that I have to announce my wonderful uncle (aged 75) passed away yesterday, peacefully, with his older brother Howard by his side. We have been really moved by the outpouring of lovely tributes – Thank you, they are very welcome – keep them coming!” so said Sara Newman on Duggie’s Facebook page.
And yes, what sad sad news. Word started to flow around the social media art-wires last night, artist Duggie FIleds has passed away, he was apparently (a very young) 75, I would have knocked ten years off that if you’d asked me to guess, he was always stylish, he always looked good. Duggie was a much loved part of the London art scene as well as the fashion scene, his colourful on-line whit, his bright post-modern graphic pop art flavoured sensibility, his Blitz boldness, everything he did was stylish and we really can’t let the sad news pass without saying something here today. Duggie had fashion sense that always impressed, he was, as someone else said today, “vibrant, unusual, flamboyant and a true gent”, he was in so many ways, a light, he was loved for his art, his style and for his tireless campaigning to save Earls Court and his thoughts on London’s declining architecture. He was always generous with his time, he was always a pleasure. And yes, you always got the impression the establishment was just a little standoffish about him, his fellow artists knew though. We knew, he will be missed, he should be celebrated. Rest in peace Duggie, our thoughts are with your friends and family.
“Duggie Fields was born in 1945 and brought up in the village of Tidworth, Wiltshire. He spent his youth in the countryside, moving to the outer suburbs of London in his adolescence. He studied architecture, briefly, at Regent Street Polytechnic before going to Chelsea School of Art in 1964 where he stayed for four years, before leaving with a scholarship that took him on his first visit to the United States. As a student his work moved from Minimal, Conceptual and Constructivist phases to a more hard-edge post-Pop figuration. By the middle of the 1970s his work included many elements that were later defined as Post-Modernism. In 1983 in Tokyo, sponsored by the Shiseido Corporation, a gallery was created specially for his show, and the artist and his work were simultaneously featured in a television, magazine, billlboard and subway advertising campaign throughout the country. He started working with digital media in the late 1990’s describing his work in progress as Maximalist”.
From Toby, Duggie’s Gallerist.
“We are sorry to have the sad news that Duggie Fields passed away yesterday after a long illness. A great friend and gallery artist who was hugely loved and admired and will be sorely missed by many. Our thoughts are with his close family members, Howard, Sara and Giovanni as well as his many many close friends.Duggie Fields grew up in the English countryside. He first came to notice in 1958, when he was 14, in the Summer Exhibition at the Bladon Gallery, Hurstbourne Tarrant. He was studying at the nearby Andover Grammar School.Fields briefly studied architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic before studying at the Chelsea School of Art for four years starting in 1964. He left with a scholarship that took him on his first visit to the United States, in 1968. As a student, Fields’ work progressed through minimal, conceptual and constructivist phases to a more hard-edged post-Pop figuration. His main influences were at that time Jackson Pollock, Mondrian and comic books, with a special regard to those worked on by Stan Lee. In 1968, after his US visit, Fields went to live in Earl’s Court Square and shared a flat with Syd Barrett, who had just left Pink Floyd.By the middle of the 1970s his work included many elements that were later defined as Post- modernist. In one painting Marilyn Monroe is shown with her head severed. In 1983 Fields was invited to Tokyo by the Shiseido Corporation, where a gallery was created to show his paintings. For the occasion the artist and his work were simultaneously featured in a television, magazine, billboard and subway advertising campaign throughout Japan. In 2018, for Glasgow International, The Modern Institute’s Osborne Street gallery played host to an exhibition that recreated Duggie Fields’ Earl’s Court flat. Fields’ body of work is marked by a distinct signature style of post-Pop figuration and self-described MAXIMALism. Marrying imagery from classical and popular culture along with art history which is cyclically reused and repurposed within his painted canvases and intrinsically tied to his home of the past 50 years”.
There’s a great “In His Own Words” piece that can be found on the Ten magzine website