1937 - ?

Tom Phillips

Trevor Thomas Phillips, was born at Clapham, London on 25 May 1937, youngest of two sons of David James Phillips and his wife Margaret Ann née Arnold, who married at Clapham in 1928, and his family called him Tom. Educated at Bonneville Road Primary School in Clapham 1942-1947 and then at Henry Thornton Grammar School, Clapham. Phillips studied English Literature and Anglo Saxon at St Catherine's College, Oxford 1958-1960 and attended life drawing classes at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. On graduation he taught Art, Music and English at Aristotle Road School, Brixton, London and he also attended evening classes in life drawing under Frank Auerbach (born 1931), and sculpture at Camberwell College of Arts, where he became a full-time student in 1961. After graduation from Camberwell in 1964 his work was selected for that year's Young Contemporaries Exhibition in London and in the following year the AIA Galleries in London exhibited his first one-man show. While studying at Camberwell Phillips married at Westminster, London his first wife Jill Purdy, and they had two children, daughter Ruth and a son Leo. Phillips then became a teacher at Ipswich School of Art, where one of his students was Brian Eno [q.v.] and he moved on to teach Liberal Studies at Walthamstow Polytechnic where he met the pianist John Tilbury (born 1936) and participated in improvisation concerts at several polytechnics and his first musical composition was Four Pieces for Tilbury. In 1966 he exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and began collaborating with Brian Eno. Throughout the 1970s his works were exhibited widely in one-man shows and collections. After a period as a visiting tutor at the Art School in Kassel, Germany, he abandoned teaching and took his first trip to Africa. In 1973 he began the 20 Sites n Years photographic project and his first significant publication, Works/Texts I, was published in 1975 and his first retrospective exhibition toured Europe. By the late 1990s Phillips was an establishment figure in most aspects of the arts. He became a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, an Honorary Fellow of the London Institute, an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and a Trustee of the British Museum. In 1995, he married secondly, the writer and music critic Fiona Maddocks.

Works by This Artist