Posted: 21 June, 2012.
Barry Whistler Gallery has had a long association with artist John-Paul Philippe. His work has been included in many group exhibitions going back to 1989. This is their first solo show with the artist, which will take place from June 16th to July 26th, 2012. Hill Work includes drawings, paintings, sculpture and a site specific mural on a 20’ long by 10 ½’ tall wall.
Of French Canadian descent, John-Paul Philippe was born and raised in Henryetta, Oklahoma where his father and grandfather had a glass company. He turned a lifelong interest in art into a profession after graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1978 and going to work for as an illustrator for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. After a year there, a flip of a coin took him to Santa Fe where he became immersed in painting for two years prior to moving on to London to “ visit the great museums and study art privately.” Once there, he found a job as a restorationist at a Charleston, the count retreat of the Bloomsbury group of artists and consequently became influenced by their graphics and design work. Of that experience, John-Paul has said, “I freely admit my work has a decorative sense, and all the applications I encountered in Charleston, I never would have probably thought of if I hadn’t been there.”
In the early 1990’s, while on a visit to New York, a chance encounter with legendary creative director Simon Doonan landed John-Paul a design assignment with the upscale clothing store Barney’s. The production of a small painted mural led to the creation of massive sculptural entrances and interior treatments for Barney flagship stores worldwide and launched career identifying him as a designer. “I have always considered myself a painter, and never really approached any of the other disciplines. Other things developed through working with Barney’s. I look at the architectural plans for the stores and then think about where we can intervene with art. The influence for the sculptures literally came from my paintings. I just removed the backgrounds and the abstract shapes remained. In all of the sculptures you look through openings or apertures. People focus on that and you direct their line of sight.”
Barry Whistler Gallery is located in the Deep Ellum area of downtown Dallas at 2909-B Canton Street. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.