Tom Phillips: From Prequel To Sequel

Exhibitions and events

Tom Phillips: From Prequel To Sequel

2016 - 26th June 16
Shandy Hall Gallery

General event

Tom Phillips R.A. has received critical acclaim and has become one of Britain's best loved artists.

In 1966 Phillips resolved to dedicate himself to making art out of the first secondhand book he could find for threepence on Peckham Rye. Thus began A Humument, the first and longest (50 years) of Phillips's extended serial projects. A Humument is a radical 'treatment' of a forgotten Victorian novel by means of collage, cut-up, ornament and other techniques. To date, four editions, each with a number of pages reworked, have been published, and Phillips has said the series will only be complete when all pages of his original have themselves been revised.

The Royal Academy of Art dedicated the whole of Gallery X in their 2015 Summer Exhibition to Tom Phillips with the exhibition; A Humument 1966 - 2015. The exhibition traced the history of A Humument from its initial untreated pages, the first version and the second (and final) "virtually entire" reworked version of each page. The final 50 pages of this fifty year work-in-progress were omitted from The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

The Laurence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall is proud to display these final 50 pages for the first time.

A Humument has become a touchstone of Phillips's oeuvre with its characters and quotations populating other paintings, works of art criticism, his opera Irma and some of the songs he wrote when returning to music in the 1990s. Tom Phillips is an artist whose work is fuelled by several persistent preoccupations, expressed through an even larger number of formats. These include painting (both figurative and abstract), opera (composer, librettist, set designer), concrete poetry and ornamental forms of writing, sculpture and site-specific designs (mosaic, tapestry, wire frame objects). He has also taken on several para-artistic roles critic, curator, committee chairman for the Royal Academy, translator - all of which he has folded back into his art.


Open Sunday - Friday, 11am - 4pm

Admission free

Normal charges apply to the House and Gardens

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