Matt Phillips

Matt Phillips’ paintings create colorful complexes that act as vibrant odes to the ordinary. Phillips’ practice meditates on his comprehensive observance of classic aesthetics, including modernist abstraction, folk art and African textiles. Drawing notes from these traditions, his paintings meld low- and high-brow art, creating contemporary pastiches that are just as colloquial as they are clever.

Phillips paints with a pigment and silica blend with each brush stroke becoming dry instantaneously. Each painting begins as a mapped geometrical formation with his method of building composition pushing through routine constructs of painterly semantics and becoming playful with common structures. He uses notions of pattern, textile, and decorative to hint at referential codes that allow abstract to take on tangible, comfortable forms. As a result, each work switches from foreign to recognizable, inviting relatability.

Phillips earned his MFA in Painting at Boston University and BA in Art/Art History at Hampshire College. He is a founding member of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery in Brooklyn and has been an assistant professor of art at FIT, Mount Holyoke College and Hampshire College. Recent solo exhibitions include One River School in Englewood, NY, Studio d’Arte Raffaelli in Trento, Italy, Devening Projects in Chicago, Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects in New York City and at the University of Maine Museum of Art. He had a residency at Yaddo Colony in Sratoga Springs, NY in 2017 and at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH in 2016. Phillips lives and works in Brooklyn.


Matt Phillips; Sheltering Sky, 2016; pigment and silica on linen; 24 x 20 in.