Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Walter J Phillips

Headingly 1917 etching

Rime 1934 colour woodcut on paper

Valley of the Ten Peaks 1930 wood engraving

Wooded Shore Near Keewatin 1917 etching

Walter J Phillips (1884-1963) grew up in England and after a few years in South Africa, he spent the vast majority of his life in Canada. It may have been his early background that instilled a traditionalist outlook in his many print and artworks.

Lily 1932 wood engraving

If I was to criticize any of the writing in the links below it would be to point out that the justifications and apologies offered for Phillips not siding with the modernist paradigm that developed in the early part of the 20th century art world are wholly unnecessary. His work is both naturalistic and poetic and doesn't need bolstering with rationalizing wordsmithery. It stands ably on its own merits.

That said, the first link below is outstanding, despite being a couple of years old. It has images of almost all of the works produced by Phillips and includes essays, commentary and chapters from his only book on colour wood-cut techniques. I've spent a very pleasurable hour rummaging through.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, that site rocks. thanks for the reminder -- i found phillips when i started exploring japanese woodblock cuts, and looked into who might be doing anything similar in canada.

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