b. 1967, London.
Since graduating from art college in London in the early 1990s, Phillip Allen has pursued a path in painting that has taken him from illusionistic, semi-figurative landscapes, to arriving over the past decade at total abstraction. Consistent throughout the evolution of Allen's practice has been his fascination with the sculptural qualities of paint. This has never been more evident than in his most recent series, Deepdrippings, where the artist has intensively worked and re-worked the paintings, in some cases for several years, to create a deeply layered surface abundant with impasto paint.
While previous work has seen Allen play with pictorial tradition, using framing devices to challenge the viewer's perception of space and depth, these new paintings privilege surface over illusion. Shapes and forms buzz and hover as if in mid-air; jostling for our attention, rather than receding into the distance. This new work marks a significant development in Allen’s practice, but as pointed out by the art critic John Yau (Hyperallergic), ‘For all the radical changes that Allen has made … his long preoccupation with paint as matter has become increasingly evident.’
Selected solo exhibitions include: DEEPDRIPPINGS, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, (2017) ; Milton Keynes Gallery, UK, (2006) and Phillip Allen: Recent Paintings, MoMA PS1, New York, USA, (2003). Selected group exhibitions include: The Aerodrome – An exhibition dedicated to the memory of Michael Stanley, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2019); Drawing Biennial 2017, The Drawing Room, London, UK (2017): CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain, (2012); Made in Britain: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980–2010, Heritage Museum, Hong Kong, SAR, (2011); Salon of the Vernacular, Nottingham City Gallery, Nottingham, UK, (2011); Kaleidoscopic Revolver, The Total Museum, Seoul, South Korea, (2009); Classified: Contemporary British Art from the Tate Collection, Tate Britain, London, (2009) and the British Art Show, Frieze, London, (2006). Allen graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1992.
Allen's work is represented in the collections of The Arts Council England, UK; British Council, UK and Tate Museum, UK.