this time, again
Phillips brings his highly pigmented, richly composed abstractions to tropical Miami for his first solo exhibition with Mindy Solomon, this time, again. In the show, which contains both paintings and pastels, movement, texture and composition abound. “Moving from one medium to another allows me to push my visual language forward while directly observing my own practice,” Phillips says. The works on paper, presented in walnut frames, stand in bold contrast to the transparency of the larger paintings. Illuminated by the ambient light of the gallery’s skylights, the installation has a cathedral effect.
Phillips layering techniques are captivating and intriguing. “I construct an image with thin veils of paint,” Phillips said in an interview published for his 2017 exhibition “Piano Piano” at the Studio d’Arte Raffaelli in Trento, Italy. “The final picture is often comprised of various fragments taken from these successive painted layers. It allows the painting to have its own internal light.” Phillips’ work is also dense, regardless of its size. “Strangely, my small works often take as long to complete as the larger ones” he said in the same 2017 interview. “It requires a certain effort to get everything to fit into a small container. Complexity doesn’t always mean detailed, and it has taken me a while to begin to understand this. The larger paintings also have their own unique challenges. They bring a different set of associations, as they approach the scale of familiar domestic objects such as quilts and rugs.”
Familiar, comforting and enveloping, Phillips’ work occupies a necessary space in the cannon of contemporary painting. Accessible, yet not compromising quality and visual rigor, Phillips’ oeuvre is thoughtful and lyrical. His seemingly endless survey of work continues to evolve and expand.
About Matt Phillips
Matt Phillips is a painter living in Brooklyn, NY. His works often employ fundamental elements of painting: simple shapes, modulated values and color relationships. These rather rudimentary components are combined and remixed to produce unexpected outcomes. Color, shape, mark and form engage one another in both strange and familiar ways, becoming tense, humorous, quirky and ultimately meaningful.
Matt Phillips has had solo exhibitions at The Landing Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA; Direktorenhaus Museum, Berlin, Germany; Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy; Devening Projects, Chicago, IL; Zillman Art Museum, Bangor Maine; and Steven Harvey, New York, NY. He has participated in group exhibitions at Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Hollis Taggart, New York, NY; Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, NY; and Ampersand Gallery, Portland, OR. Phillips has been an artist-in-residence at The Fores Project, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony.