Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
Exhibitions more details
|Tom Phillips: A Micro-Retrospective||9 February - 23 April 2006|
The career of the internationally renowned artist Tom Phillips, Slade Professor of Fine Art 2006, is represented in this display of small formatted works highlighting the range and diversity of his oeuvre, while seeking out the common threads that join and guide it.
Born in 1937, Phillips read English at St Catherine's, Oxford (where he is now an Honorary Fellow) while informally studying drawing at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. He subsequently studied at the Camberwell School of Art, graduating in 1964. Since that time he has contributed regularly to international literary magazines, composed music (including the opera Irma) and established himself as an artist. In the eighties he resumed portrait painting, his sitters included Iris Murdoch, Claus Moser, Alan Bullock, and other notable Oxford figures. A retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery in 1989 of his portraits was followed by major solo exhibitions in the nineties at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the South London Gallery. His most recent exhibitions have been in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas and the Flowers Gallery, New York. His works feature in museum collections world-wide.
The Ashmolean's first exhibition dedicated to Tom Phillips explores the variety of mediums in which he has worked throughout the past forty years, comprising a gouache painting, first publicly shown at the Ashmolean Museum when he was an Oxford student, sculpture, portraits, conceptual pieces and graphic illustrations,
The textual element permeating Phillips' work is demonstrated by his pioneering book A Humument. From A Human Document, a Victorian novel by WH Mallock bought for three pence in the mid sixties, Phillips has created countless narratives from the text replacing unwanted words with an astonishingly varied visual commentary. Dante in his Study is one of the illustrations to his own translation of Dante's Inferno. Both are fusions of text and image reminiscent of the tradition of illuminated manuscripts. Phillips' interest in words can be further seen in such sculptures as Wittgenstein's Dilemma ("The Limits of My Language are the Limits of My World") and in the tapestries made for the St Catherine's College Dining Hall.
As Oxford's Slade Professor of Fine Art 2006 this exhibition forms an integral part of the argument of his lectures Making Art Work. The lecture series will reflect the artist's twin preoccupations with the everyday and the esoteric, as well as dealing with culture in its three principal modes, verbal, visual and aural. The last of the lectures to be given at the Holywell Music Rooms is built around a concert of new pieces by leading composers based on Phillips' work.
For more information about the artist visit www.tomphillips.co.uk.
For information on the Slade Lecture series please download Slade
Lectures Leaflet (pdf file).
|Humument Fragment: Neglect|
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Last updated: jcm/20-feb-2006
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