Alexandra Phillips (b.1988 Port Chester NY) is an American artist currently working in Rotterdam. She spent much of her formative years in North Carolina, attending an art-centered high school program at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She holds a BFA in Painting and a BA in Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work comments upon our fleeting and insatiable existence with a light touch and a witty sense of humor. She works with the intrinsic albeit often overlooked characteristics of everyday materials and by doing so shows us their unforeseen potential and appeal. Phillips attended Penland School of Crafts (2006), received a Van Lier Fellowship (2013), was resident artist at Atelier Mondial in Basel, Switzerland (2016), and attended Jan van Eyck Academie in 2017. In 2020 she received a research and development grant from the CBK of Rotterdam. Her work was nominated for the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2021. She has received support from Stichting Droom en Daad and Mondriaan Fonds. In 2011 Phillips and artist Jan Henderikse (b.1932 Delft NL) founded Purepropaganda.org Magazine, an absurdist design firm that continues to operate in various forms today.
It is the multiformity that first catches the eye: Alexandra Phillips seems to work with whatever crosses her path, with materials and objects that have apparently little to do with each other, sometimes from the realm of the arts, sometimes from the street - literally. And so plaster, the study material of the classical sculptor par excellence, enters into a relationship with polystyrene and cardboard, packaging material, old ceramic tiles or foam rubber with the greatest possible self-evidence.
It is a multiformity that enables Phillips to stretch traditional categories such as sculpture and painting, assemblage and installation, and to provide them with a new meaning. There are delicate things that look strong. Light things that appear heavy. Dense seeming things that easily crumble, some things that seem water tight but leak', Phillips wrote in spring 2016 about her fascination with the unexpected properties of materials, things and things.
With Phillips, little is what it seems, you always get more than you bargained for, more than you could have expected as a viewer.
From: A Day in Court, 2016 - Antoon Melissen