John-Paul Philippé

Richard Salmon, Ltd.

John-Paul Philippé is an American painter who spent most of the ’80s in London, though he has shown widely in New York since participating in a group show at the Drawing Center in 1992. A natural colorist, Philippé deliberately reduced his color range to grays and biscuits in the early ’90s and began working with a small range of formal elements, which for him condensed childhood memories and his physical and emotional ambivalence about AIDS. These are all “portraits” in a most general sense. Yet by restructuring the basic elements of his paintings to shapes that resemble tears, nails, feet, bones, etc., his work demonstrates the infinite variations of expression that we find in faces. Thus his style is instantly recognizable, even when he runs against the grain of his own taste and uses cobalt blue as the ground in one series of paintings. Like Bill Jacobson, Philippé’s minutely controlled

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1995 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.