Phillip Allen: Recent Paintings

June 29–August 31, 2003

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents the New York debut of British painter Phillip Allen (b. 1967, London, U.K.). Converging abstraction with traditional landscape painting, Allen reinvigorates pictorial conventions to explore the relationship between material and surface. Allen's three-dimensional textured surfaces are built upon, torqued, and twisted. Allen's paintings are primarily structured in three horizontal sections or bands. Upper and lower bands of tactile impasto explore the sculptural nature of raw oil paint and create a "rough terrain," establishing a physical barrier between the viewer and the painting. These textured bands bracket an atmospheric middle section, in which rays of light emanate from a single vanishing point. Each subsequent layer functions independently of this vanishing point. Derived from process-driven felt tip drawings, Allen's signature motifs—Art Deco-inspired pinwheels of light, comic-like speech bubbles, and rainbow arches—combine the geometry of semi-architectural forms with the flatness of the picture plane.

  • Phillip Allen
    Beezerspline (Studio Version) (2002)
    Oil on board
    12 x 16 in.
    Private Collection
    Courtesy of White Cube, London


Phillip Allen: Recent Paintings is organized by P.S.1 Exhibition Coordinator Jeffrey Uslip.

This exhibition is made possible by The Approach, London with additional support from Dietl International, Inc.