BENJAMIN PHILLIPS

SCULPTURE

 

ABOUT

My figurative sculptures are fuelled by a drive to understand how the body collapses, absorbs and prevails against emotional trauma. 

 

Trained in classical bronze statuary, including study in Rome, I work and rework body shapes until I have subverted traditional forms of masculinity into powerful statements of vulnerability and struggle.

My forms are often deliberately misshapen to question conventional views of idealism and can be slightly smaller than human scale to dispute notions of grandiosity. Body parts can be separated and figures are sometimes placed in a prone position - all part of a systematic critique of how masculinity and the signs and symptoms of patriarchy are portrayed in visual culture.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, I have exhibited locally and internationally in the United States and Canada, including the 2011 Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art, guest-curated by Anne Ellegood, of Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Commercial galleries I exhibited with include Udinotti Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona and Elliot Louis Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia. Major art awards include two grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, a Nathan Cummings Foundation Travel Grant Award and three scholarships from the (U.S.) National Sculptor's Society. Notable artist residencies include the Corporation of Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center and the Ottawa School of Art.

 

Praise:


I find it fascinating that Phillips has confronted or ignored current prejudices that surround figurative art. Phillips stands out as an extraordinary original and talented figure who has the capacity to break new ground rather than limiting himself to predominant academic conventions. - George Rammell, sculptor, Vancouver, BC


[Phillips'] continued curiosity about the signs of a patriarchal system, through the eyes of a man with dare I say, a 'feminist's sensibility' is intriguing. ...What a powerful metaphor for issues in society at large. - Tiki Mulvihill, sculptor, Vancouver, BC

 

...His works initially communicate the anguish of embodiment. After a long look, though, the bodies become caverns, imbued with all the mystery that word implies. There's some terror in losing the sense of solidity in our being. But the collapse of gender identity and physical integrity that Phillips' works describe is a generative one that creates a space in which other, unexpected things can grow.

- Camilla Pickard, writer, Vancouver, BC

...the subjects seem trapped between the hopeful expectations of childhood and the weight or burden of [mortality]. It is precisely this moment that Phillips is interested in placing his audiences, a metaphor for the awkward eternal entrapment of humans who, regardless of their progress on the journey of life, forever inhabit this moment. - Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, writer, Phoenix, AZ

[Phillips' sculptures] resolutely refusing to appear "perfect" or "pretty [...] have wonderful character and depth. Sometimes beauty is in the imperfection." p.9 Bill Macomber, writer, Scottsdale, AZ

 

ARTWORK

SCULPTURE

DRAWING

 

EDUCATION 

   
2012    Master of Fine Art, Sculpture, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Degree
2008    Art Institute Printmaking, Capilano College, BC, Certificate
2004    Art Institute Sculpture, Capilano College, BC, Certificate
1998    Bachelor of Fine Art with Honors, Visual Arts, University of Victoria, BC, Degree
1995    Bachelor of Fine Art, Comparative Religion, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Degree

SELECTED AWARDS     

 

2014    2nd Place, Figureworks 2014 Finalists Exhibition, International
2011    National Sculpture Society Scholarship, National, U.S.A.
2011    Susan Furini Memorial Scholarship, Tempe, AZ
2011    Tempe Artist Guild Scholarship, Tempe, AZ
2011    Nathan Cummings Graduate Summer Travel Award, ASU
2011    Magadini Award, Arizona Artist Guild, AZ
2011    Guild Award, Arizona Artist Guild, AZ
2010    National Sculpture Society Scholarship, National, U.S.A.
2010    The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, International
2009    National Sculpture Society Scholarship, National, U.S.A.
2009    Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts Special Talent Scholarship, ASU
2008    The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, International
2007    The Shirley Eastcott Memorial Scholarship, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC
2004    The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation Grant, National, Canada
1998    The Helen Pitt Bursary for the Fine Arts, University of Victoria, BC

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS   

 

SOLO: 

 

2020    “Without a Guide: III”, Ottawa School of Art Orleans Campus Gallery, Ottawa, ON  
2013    “Benjamin Phillips: the Ancestor Series”, Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2012    “Without a Guide: II”, Phoenix Ice House, Phoenix, AZ
2012    “Without a Guide: MFA Thesis Exhibition”, Harry Wood Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2011    “Twilight”, The Night Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2011    “Reflection Pool”, Eye Lounge Artist Run Center, Phoenix, AZ
2011    “...Boys Are Weird” Eye Lounge Artist Run Center’s Project Room, Phoenix, AZ
2007    “Chthonian Dialogue”, Access Artist Run Centre’s Project Room, Vancouver, BC
2007    “Discomfort Zones”, Capilano College Studio Arts Gallery, North Vancouver, BC
2005     “Dry Run”, Capilano College Studio Arts Gallery, North Vancouver, BC
2001    “(f)art”, The Lee Building, Vancouver, BC
1999     “Current Works”, Rogue Art Gallery, Victoria, BC
1998     "Duh Duh", Vertical Gallery, of Open Space Artist Run Centre, Victoria, BC

 

GROUP:    

 

2018    "Figureworks 9th Annual Finalists Exhibition", Ottawa, ON  International

2018    “Brain & Mental Health Art Show ‘18”, Horticulture Bldg., Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, ON
2017    “From the Museum’s Permanent Collection”, Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art, Paradise Valley, AZ
2014    "Figureworks 5th Annual Finalists Exhibition", Ottawa, ON (2nd Place), International
2014    “Body Language”, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA, National
2014    “Honestly, ” Bragg’s Pie Factory, Phoenix, AZ
2014    “Downtown Chamber Series” Ice House, Phoenix, AZ
2014    “Positive Negative 29: Pages”, Slocumb Galleries, E. Tennessee State, University, Johnson City, TN, National
2013    Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2012    Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2011    “Downtown Chamber Series” Phoenix Ice House, Phoenix, AZ
2011    "2011 Arizona Biennial", Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
2011    "2011 Arizona Artist Guild Scholarship Winners Exhibition", Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2011    "20”x20”x20: A National Compact Competition", Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, National
2011    “Members Only”, Eye Lounge Artist Run Center, Phoenix, AZ
2011    “Origins”, the Institute for Humanities Research, ASU, Tempe, AZ
2011    “Downtown Chamber Series” Phoenix Ice House, Phoenix, AZ
2010    “You Look Fabulous” Runway Show and Wearable Art Exhibition, Night Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2010    “MFA Summer Exhibition”, guest curator Kim Larkin, Harry Wood Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2010    "2010 Art Detour", Westwind Studios, Phoenix, AZ
2009    “Fire In the Night”, The Night Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2009     “Imagined Geographies”, Bragg’s Pie Factory, Phoenix, AZ
2009    “The Book Expanded”, Step Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2008    “Sculpture Problems”, Harry Wood Annex Gallery, Tempe, AZ
2008    “Steam Punk”, First Studio, Phoenix, AZ
2008    “Flirting with Disaster”, Bragg’s Pie Factory, Phoenix, AZ
2008    Elliot Louis Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2006    “Beyond Borders”, UWW, Bellingham, WA, International
2005    “Sex Art Vote Yes”, Sex Party of BC Campaign Event, Vancouver, BC
2001    International Digital Art Competition and Exhibition, Beecher Center for Technology in the Arts, Youngstown, OH
2001    “Propaganda II, Addicted" Gorilla Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2000     “Quick Draw” Invitational, Open Space Gallery, Victoria, BC

 

SELECTED ARTIST IN RESIDENCE   


2015    Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, ON
2013     The Corporation of Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY
2012     Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT


SELECTED COLLECTIONS

 

Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art, Paradise Valley, AZ
numerous private collections in the United States

 

INVITATIONAL TALKS & WORKSHOPS     

 

2014    Artist Lecture, Phoenix College, Phoenix, AZ
2013    Artist Workshop and Lecture, Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art, Paradise Valley, AZ
2012    Artist Workshop and Lecture, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ
2012    Invited Artist Lecture, Tempe Artist Guild, Tempe, AZ
2011     Invited Artist Lecture for Spirit of the Senses Salon Series, Tempe, AZ    
2010     Invited Artist Lecture for the B.F.A. Sculpture Seminar, A.S.U. Tempe, AZ
2009    Chair Student Panel, 2009 National Cast-Iron Art Conference, Birmingham, AL
2006    Invited Artist Talk, Capilano College, North Vancouver

 

 

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