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.


Matt Phillips is a founding member of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery in Brooklyn and has been an assistant professor at Mount Holyoke College and Hampshire College. Solo exhibitions include Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects and Staring at the Sun with a Penny in My Pocket, a survey of Phillips’ paintings at the University of Maine Museum of Art. He had a residency at the MacDowell for the month of February. Colony Phillip currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

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