Matt Phillips Biography

Matt Phillips




Matt Phillips, painter, printmaker and art educator, was born in New York City on August 12, 1927. He studied at the Barnes Foundation, the  University of Chicago, receiving a Masters of Arts (1952) and Stanford University.

After traveling extensively in Europe, Phillips accepted a teaching position at Pennsylvania State University. He returned to Europe in 1962 to teach for two years at the American College in Paris. On his return to the America in 1964, Phillips joined the faculty of Bard College in upstate New York, where he taught until moving to California in 1987.

Phillips began making monotypes in 1961. His efforts to organize monotype exhibitions, as well as his own focus on the medium, helped to reintroduce contemporary artists to this technique. “I think of my monotypes as colored poems, enclosed in mystery. Matisse once wrote that black is a color. White is too, and all the off whites, their tones and intervals and shapes and spaces, made possible by paper and printing, fascinate me. Ultimately monotype is just another method which allows us to get our work done. It is one form of discreet communication." Matt Phillips, Monotypes, 1961-1975.

Phillips has been honored at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1976 and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, in 1978.

Matt Phillips died in Emeryville, California on March 1, 2017.