Richard Phillips - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present early works on paper of Richard Phillips at Zimmerstraße 90/91.

The work of Richard Phillips reflects images that are being produced by mass media. So do the 29 exhibited drawings from the years 1993 and 1994: In these years in the American society a boom of confessing in public evolved, which brought to light reports on child abuse, domestic violence, incest, alcoholism and drug addiction in the talkshows and the tabloids, with at the same time the media propagating conservative family values, exposed wealth, celebrities and models in „heroin chic“.

At this time, Phillips discovered the work of Albert Oehlen, whom he describes as a catalyst concerning the making of the drawings. Phillips found his motives in lurid photos from newspapers and magazines, reporting of a homeless man being burned alive, showing rich people on their sailing yacht or a wholesome American family having breakfast. Phillips is adopting these images in an aggressive way – the immaculate rich men are pissing into the water, the breakfast of the perfect family is not consisting of the advertised cereals, but of Martini, cigarettes and drugs, and the child is carrying a gun to school. „I looked at each image as an incomplete sentence I had to finish in a malevolent way.“ (Phillips).

Not only Phillips’s own, somewhat desperate situation can be found in the drawings, but in the first place a strong criticism of society and media. A year later he created the first paintings in oil that his name stands for today – the iconography of these was based on fashion- and porn magazines from the 60’s and 70’s. In the paintings the critical statements are dealt with in an equally extreme way using other artistic techniques. The ironic comment on images from mass media has started with these disturbing drawings.

On the occation of the exhibition a catalogue with an essay by Linda Yablonsky is being published.

Richard Phillips was born in 1963. He lives and works in New York. This is the third solo exhibition of Richard Phillips at Galerie Max Hetzler. Other selected solo exhibtions took place in Le Consortium, Dijon, Kunstverein Hamburg and Kunsthalle Zurich. The artist also participated in group exhibitions at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; P.S.1 – Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; Liverpool Biennial; Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.