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Phil Sims, New Work

Dinter Fine Art
547 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor, 212-947-2818
September 11 - November 1, 2008
Reception: Thursday, September 11, 6 - 8 PM
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DINTER FINE ART is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by the American painter and ceramicist Phil Sims. On view will be a series of recent color paintings, as well as ceramic works, including tea bowls and sculptures.

Born in 1940 in Richmond, California, and educated at the San Francisco Art Institute, Phil Sims is known for color paintings. Early exhibitions of his work, such as in Sweden in 1979, and in Germany in the following years, established his reputation. The groundbreaking exhibition “Radical Painting” in 1984 at the Williams College Museum of Art, in Williamstown MA, brought mainstream attention to the work. Europeans had an established tradition of embracing monochromatic painting and Sims soon found himself working and exhibiting in Germany. In 1992 an exhibition at Stark Gallery in New York City caught the attention of the collector and art patron Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, who enthusiastically began purchasing and commissioning work. Soon Sims seemingly simple looking paintings came to grace entire rooms of European palaces and renovated Renaissance houses, to stunning effect.

Though the paintings appear to be a single color each, they belie a complexity, both in color choices as well as in surface, and certainly in execution. All the paintings consist of layer upon layer of different colors, building to a luminous surface. The pigments are mixed with sand, providing an added layer of subtle texture.

Sims has a long practice of working with clay, early on as a potter and a ceramicist. In recent years he has turned his attention back to creating “tea bowls” and abstract sculptures in the style of “scholars rocks”. These complement the transcendent purity of the paintings, through the intentional or accidental roughness of surface and texture produced both in their creation, and by the firing process. The bowls suggest some functional use. Though they are meant to be contemplated as aesthetic objects, they are meant to be physically handled as well. The sculptures, on the other hand, take us back to abstraction, in close collaboration with the paintings.

Recent solo exhibitions include “Color In My Mind”, Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Germany (2008, catalog); “Emotion of Color”, Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany (2005, catalog); as well as solo and group exhibitions at Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, and Galerie Rupert Walser, Munich, Germany. Recent group exhibitions include “The Panza Collection: An Experience of Color and Light”, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2007); as well as “death & love in Modern Times” at Dinter Fine Art (2007). His work can be found at the Kolumba Kunstmuseum, Cologne, Germany; The Panza Collection, Varese, Italy; The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford CT; among many others.
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