London-based artist Phillip Allen's work addresses the physical activity of painting, the difference between paint densities, and the flatness of a canvas. The relationship between paint and surface suggests the broader dialogue between abstraction and figuration, a topic that is frequently analysed in modern painting. Allen's composition draws attention to the fact that no matter how stylised a painting is, its physical make-up always derives from the nature of its materials.
Like many of Allen's works, this painting includes forms that look like cartoon-like empty speech bubbles. He has described how they allude to the impulse to express an emotion or thought, while not necessarily knowing what to say.
Phillip Allen was born in London and graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 1992. He has had numerous solo shows including: Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 2005; The Approach Gallery, London, in 2004 and 2002; and PS1, New York, 2003. In 2005 his work was included in the touring show British Art Show 6, which opened at Baltic, Gateshead, and then travelled to Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol throughout 2006. His work was also exhibited in Another Shitty Day in Paradise, a group exhibition at Bart Wells Institute, London, in 2002; Post Flat - New Art from London, at Lock's Gallery, Philadelphia, 2003; and Stay Positive at Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, in 2004.
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