tomas phillips
thomas phillips


Though untitled, if I had to name the paintings included here, they might comprise a numbered series titled something like “decisive gestures.” Regardless of how much or how little space occupies these pieces, they are all undoubtedly punctuated by particular actions, actions of depth, colour, filament. Of course, the same could be said of any painting, though in an abstract, minimalist context, I would argue, the action takes on a different flavour and intensity. It strikes out of a nothingness that remains equally foregrounded, that remains present as nothing, a productive incursion.

Productive though it may be, the immediate shift that unfolds between space (there being no such thing as complete space, total silence) and a given action is nevertheless generative of tension. I find this tension fascinating in so far as it extends beyond the edges of the canvas and into the quotidian. This balance between doing and non-doing, both poles necessitating decision. The balance is struck, or it is relinquished, material for another day, another gesture. I learn a great deal from certain paintings, even, and perhaps especially, my own.

Thomas Phillips, 2006