JUDITH RAPHAEL AND TONY PHILLIPS
THE CONVERSATION: TWOSOME
January 31– February 27, 2016
Closing Reception: Saturday, February 27, 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Curated by Anne Harris
Essay on The Conversation: Twosome
RAC is pleased to present Judith Raphael and Tony Phillips in Twosome. Both artists are fixtures in Chicago and have been exhibiting since the early 1960’s. This is the third exhibition in our series called The Conversation, featuring two artists who together have some form of creative discourse.
Judith and Tony have been married for thirty-five years. Their home and shared studio are fashioned from an old warehouse in Pilsen they had the prescience to buy in 1985. Both artists depict parts of stories—specific moments and grand events—through exquisitely crafted figurative paintings and drawings. Tony’s pieces are dark. Trains and planes plunge through twilight, women morph into sphinxes and trees, goats have cat’s eyes, lightning strikes, and the artist’s surrogate appears repeatedly—soft, naked and mortal. In contrast, Judith’s girls and boys (often her grandchildren) are brightly illuminated. They float on bicycles and parachutes, hurtle through the sky with jetpacks, tell secrets, run races, and release Pandora’s pestilence into the universe while remaining utterly unplagued. Together, their work bookends us between old and young, and fear and fearlessness.
About the Artists
Judith Raphael received her BFA from the University of Mississippi, and her MA from Northwestern University, where she studied with Ted Halkin. Her work has been seen locally and nationally at such venues as The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; The Frye Museum, Seattle, WA; and the Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY. Awards received include the Adolph & Clara Obrig Prize from The National Academy Museum, a Rockefeller Foundation Resident Fellowship in Bellagio, Italy, and also grants from the NEA and the Illinois Arts Council. She taught for decades at both SAIC and Moraine Valley Community College, retiring in 2002. Her most recent solo exhibition was in 2015, titled Coming into Bloom, at Elmhurst College.
Tony Phillips received his BA from Trinity College, Hartford, CT and his BFA and MFA from Yale University. His work has been shown locally and nationally at venues ranging from The Art Institute of Chicago to The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; The National Academy Museum, New York; The Islip Art Museum, Long Island, NY; and Lyons Weir and Marianne Deson Galleries, Chicago. He’s received numerous awards including the Jacob and Bessie Levy Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago, multiple NEA Fellowships and Illinois Arts Council Grants, as well multiple residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell. He began teaching at SAIC in 1969, where he retired in 2001 as chair of the painting department. He still teaches a course there now as Professor Emeritus. Presently, Tony’s work is on exhibit at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Surrealism: the Conjured Life.