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JOHN-PAUL PHILIPPE
at Barry Whistler Gallery through July 26
by Todd Camplin

John-Paul Philippe’s show at Barry Whistler Gallery is like being transported back in time, where
early 20th century artists were just developing abstract art. You might say his work is very retro,
but you would be missing out on some of the newer approaches Philippe is incorporating in each
painting, drawing, or sculpture.
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I dropped by the gallery during installation, so works were waiting to be hung and some drawings
were out on a table. I love this moment before the installation, because you feel the creative
energy of the gallery curator as well as the artist. John-Paul Philippe’s large drawing on the wall
along with his drawing on paper had this unfinished process look. The drawings looked like
sketches for the paintings, yet managed to stand alone as finished pieces.
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Todd Camplin
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John-Paul Philippe’s painting brought me back to the 2008 Amon Carter Museum show of 40’s Fort
Oklahoma or he has just tapped into the past through his use of color and line. I think Philippe is
bringing his work forward from the past through his use of hard-edge painting techniques and his
attention to current design trends. He uses gouache which tends to create a highly graphic look.
The lines constantly draw your eye around and into the painting, without much means of escape.
Installation View // photo by  © Allison V. Smith

You can best experience his rootedness into High Modernism through his sculptural objects. These
three dimensional pieces look to be functional as tea light holders and referencing Alexander
Calder’s non-mobile works. I have mixed feelings about the work being possibly functional, but
maybe I still have some Modernist hang-ups. After all, decorative work has been turned upside
down by our current artists, so what is wrong with completely embracing the decorative, while
maintaining a sculptural tradition? Personally, I am foggy on the issue.
Installation View // photo by  © Allison V. Smith
Installation View // photo by  © Allison V. Smith
John-Paul Philippe will bring you back and pull you forward in time with his grouping of highly crafted
“Hill Works.” His show runs through July 26th at the
Barry Whistler Gallery.

John-Paul Philippe, Butte, 2007                
emulsified gouache on paper, 32 x 32”