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© Whitford Fine Art 2017

Peter Phillips: Pop 1959-1976

Whitford Fine Art, 2004. £5.00

Peter Phillips was two years younger than his contemporaries at the Royal College, but he came to Pop Art with an extraordinary speed, conviction and clarity of thought and has since stayed true to its principles whilst continuing to push the idiom into new directions. One of the rare British artists never to have spurned the label, Phillips approached Pop as a question of matching subject matter to the style and technique. In this sense he was closer to the American Pop artists than almost any of his British colleagues.

Phillips trusted his intuitions in marrying the formal grandeur and ambitious scale of Abstract Expressionism with his passion for the trapping of youth culture, with all its associated glamour, energy, sexuality and violence; he borrowed his imagery and hard-edged formal patterns from game boards, the funfair, pin-ups, comic books and other popular sources

His random selection of images suggests that the elements were like interchangeable machine parts, verged on cynicism, but his subjectivity of choice and arrangement has ensured for his art a mysterious and potent emotional dimension that transcends its often banal sources.


Marco Livingstone 2004, published in Pop Art UK: British Pop Art 1956-1972, exhibition catalogue, Galleria Cvica, Modena, 2004.