Tom Phillips is a multi-talented artist whose central passion is language and whose genius lies in his ability to generate images that, while concerned with the structure of ideas, also convey a rich coherence of decoration, eloquence, and sensuality. These concerns have led him into opera, ballet, and filmmaking; he is also an accomplished composer and poet, and his achievements in the production of books and prints are renowned worldwide. He inspires strong, almost fanatical enthusiasm among a coterie of devotees. Published to coincide with a touring retrospective exhibition by the Royal Academy, Tom Phillips: Works and Texts is a discriminating survey of over twenty years of the artist’s oeuvre, including some of his very latest pieces. Included are pages from his past books: Dante’s Inferno (Thames & Hudson, 1985) and A Humument (Thames & Hudson, 1987). Also reproduced are such representative works as Conjectured Images: Mappin Art Gallery, a series of paintings that reconstruct an entire art gallery from an old postcard; Curriculum Vitae I-XXII; Terminal Grey Paintings; and many of his images from A TV Dante. Illustrated in color throughout, this is a tribute to a living artist whose work remains as fresh and challenging as when it was first produced.
The English painter, writer, and composer Tom Phillips curated the groundbreaking exhibition “Africa: The Art of the Continent” at the Royal Academy in 1992. He is himself a collector of African art, specializing in the arts of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. His other books include The Postcard Century.