The ArtCat calendar is closed as of December 31, 2012. Please visit Filterizer for art recommendations.


Brad Phillips, On Feeling Better

Wallspace Gallery
619 West 27th Street, ground floor, 212-594-9478
October 22 - November 26, 2005
Web Site

Over the past several years, Brad Phillips has become a reluctant poster boy for a resurgence of gothic sensibilities in his native Canada, his modestly scaled oils and watercolors having focused on such subject matter as Goth girls in full maquillage, sites and perpetrators of violent crimes, and appropriated imagery embodying the voracious spirit of subculture fandom.

If Goth materialized a counter-culture fueled by images of violence, death and alienation, Phillips’ latest work operates within a space that could be labeled “Post-Goth,” where remnants of adolescent nihilism and macabre fantasy become the bedfellows of painting invoking the histories of Pop, Cubism and Art Nouveau. Combining a funereal palette with the exuberant patterning of deco-era wallpaper and swaths of Klimt-inspired, near-psychedelic fabrics, On Feeling Better points to a contemporary re-imagining of a kind of Weimar-era decadence.

Buoyed by a newfound faith in the expressive possibilities of painting, Phillips has turned away from the use of defiant surrogates (Goth girls, teen murderers), instead choosing to imbue his personal heroes (his wife, their friends) with cultural and metaphorical signification: a grayscale portrait of the artist’s wife as Rotraut Uecker (the wife and muse of Yves Klein) draws a triangle between melancholic ideation, that time-honored fuel of teen-angst and fantasy, artistic practice and romantic love.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-1312 to see them here.