Phillip Allen

Phillip Allen, Deepdrippings (Distinguished guest studio version), 2018, oil on board, 152 x 122 cm / 59.8 x 48 in  

Additional Views

Phillip Allen, Deepdrippings (Distinguished Guest Version), 2018, oil on board, 152 x 122 cm / 59.8 x 48 in   

Additional Views
Phillip Allen, Deepdrippings (Solar quiet version), 2016, oil on board, 153 x 122 cm / 60.2 x 48 in
Phillip Allen, Chin music (soft octopus version), 2016, oil on board, 152 x 122 cm / 59.8 x 48 in
Phillip Allen, Deepdrippings (ghetto anglaise version), 2016, oil on board, 152 x 122 cm / 59.8 x 48 in
Phillip Allen, Ghetto anglaise, 2016, oil on board, 61 x 55 cm / 24 x 21.7 in
Phillip Allen, Deepdrippings (Curry Nighthawk Version), 2016, oil on board, 153 x 122 cm / 60.2 x 48 in   
Phillip Allen, Tonic for Choice (Biennale Version), 2014, oil on board, 183 x 183 cm / 72 x 72 in
Phillip Allen, Delusions provide solutions (The right version), 2013, oil on canvas, 285 x 225 cm / 112.2 x 88.6 in
Additional Views
Phillip Allen, Blue Stain (One night only version), 2013, oil on canvas, 285 x 225 cm / 112.2 x 88.6 in
Additional Views
Phillip Allen, I blame it on Kosuth, 2012, oil on canvas, 182 x 152 cm / 71.7 x 59.8 in
Phillip Allen, slives (Improving the quality of relations in the workplace version), 2007, oil on board, 213 x 305 cm / 83.9 x 120.1 in
Phillip Allen, Tifosi, 2005, oil on board, 46 x 56 cm  / 18.1 x 22 in


Phillip Allen, Deep North (Academy Version), 2003, oil on board, 56 x 72 cm / 22 x 28.3 in

Phillip Allen, Deepdrippings, Kerlin Gallery, 11 February – 25 March 2017

Additional Views
Phillip Allen, DOLPH Projects, London, September 2016
Additional Views
Phillip Allen, oxblood, Kerlin Gallery, 7 June – 20 July 2013
Additional Views
Phillip Allen, New Paintings, Kerlin Gallery, 5 June – 18 July 2009
Additional Views
Phillip Allen, New Paintings, Kerlin Gallery, 10 September – 8 October 2005
Additional Views
b. 1967, London.


In many of the paintings made by Phillip Allen over the last decade, a vivid and ebullient graphic clarity contends with more convulsive painterly features. His paintings have often presented brightly coloured, interconnecting volumes or repeating, distending patterns within more mutedly toned, wide-open zones. Bordering these spaces at the upper and lower limits of the canvas, Allen’s trick has been to lay down richly abundant lines of curling impasto paint: glorious blooms and bursts of multifarious colour that thickly combine to frame and deepen the visual drama at the centre of the picture. But what we see is never quite clear, never entirely ‘contained’. The graphic elements often offer hinting suggestions of buildings or other tall structures — they sometimes resemble wonky or wildly implausible monuments — but the precarious, piled-up shapes also at times allude to letters or numbers, as if a kind of coded communication were being proposed.  Invariably, Allen shows us something being assembled — there is recurrent piecing-together of basic elements — but the results depart thrillingly from rational organisation, towards a more dream-like, open-ended and associative way of imagining a world.
Lately, his paintings have expanded in scale, and they have begun to present still more hazy and ambiguous arrangements.  As ever, there is a concentration on accumulations of fundamental forms — often, now, the geometric shapes that provide the historical basis of painterly composition — but the surfaces are now a storm of agitated scribbles and incessant drips. Each ‘composition’ in these powerful works is in a state of decomposition. If as one title (from 2012) suggests, ‘Delusions provide solutions’ Allen’s recent works also showing him taking on the painterly challenge of scrupulous ‘dissolution’. Phillip Allen graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1992.
Recent solo exhibitions include: DEEPDRIPPINGS, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, (2017) ; Milton Keynes Gallery, UK, (2006) and Phillip Allen: Recent Paintings, MoMA PS1, New York, USA, (2003). Recent group exhibitions include: CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain, (2012); Made in Britain: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980–2010, Heritage Museum, Hong Kong, SAR, (2011); Salon of the Vernacular, Nottingham City Gallery, Nottingham, UK, (2011); Kaleidoscopic Revolver, The Total Museum, Seoul, South Korea, (2009); Classified: Contemporary British Art from the Tate Collection, Tate Britain, London, (2009) and the British Art Show, Frieze, London, (2006).
Allen's work is represented in the collections of The Arts Council England, UK; British Council, UK and Tate Museum, UK.


Download PDF

Phillip Allen, Painting Smoking Eating

Lewisham Arthouse, London

“There is a delicate form of the empirical which identifies itself so intimately with its object that it thereby becomes a theory”.

Philip Allen, Jake Clark, Nelson Diplexcito, Freya Guest, Dave Leeson, Tom Rapsey

Exhibition Dates: 8 -17 May 2014

More Info

Phillip Allen, AFM Collection

CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain

04 May 2012 - 30 September 2012

The CCA Andratx is very pleased to host the Special Edition of the Art Foundation Mallorca Collection.

More Info

The Irish Times

‘Deepdrippings’: Painterly explorations that are both object and surface

21 February 2017

Phillip Allen’s Deepdrippings is an exceptional exhibition: focused, intelligent, lively and conceptually rich. … [It] consolidates his position as one of the sharpest, liveliest painters working today.

— Aidan Dunne

Visit Website

The Sunday Independent

What Lies Beneath: Deepdrippings (International Version) by Phillip Allen

6 March 2017

Allen's recent work, Deepdrippings, now showing at the Kerlin Gallery, until March 25, displays great control and confidence. The temptation is to touch; the eye ranges and roams over the singing, seductive image with a delicious pleasure, over the brushwork and pure, exuberant squiggles as if straight from the tube: "A brush is always used somewhere in the making. I do apply paint directly from the tube but it always has some kind of encounter with a brush. I use various size rigger brushes which are for water colours. I like them when they get splayed and ungainly, this is then perfect for me," Allen says. He works on a few paintings at a time. What about the ones that don't work out? Do you abandon, rework? "My paintings are continually not working out. I have a stack of them in my studio and every now and then I do a purge and throw loads out." And that title? "Deepdrippings was initially an auto correct on my phone that went wrong but I liked the associations."

— Niall MacMonagle

Visit Website

Art in America

Phillip Allen, The Approach, London

22 July 2011

Allen’s signature move is to bracket his paintings top and bottom with thickly daubed impasto, bordering their receding pictorial spaces with robust stripes of emphatically physical oil paint. In the gallery, it was immediately apparent how in these new paintings Allen subjects this device to different sets of mutations.

— Lee Triming

Download PDF Visit Website


Mind’s Eye: The animism and imagination of Phillip Allen’s painterly abstractions

Issue 123 May 2009

What if his house was on fire? He’d save his drawings. What if someone admired his art and invited him to make a book? Phillip Allen – Drawings, a festival of felt-tip sketches, was published by Other Criteria in 2007. Drawing, the activity at the core of the London-based painter’s work, equals potential. Open that book somewhere near the middle and locate a monstrous, fluted architectural form, a giant pipe organ spliced with a windowless church: it will reappear, a little more streamlined and pinkish, a little more like a three-dimensional spectrogram but still obscurely grand and fearful, a year later in the oil-on-board Volume Champion (2008). On other pages a dark, rearing cyclonic form appears, composed of interlocking club-like shapes resembling Philip Guston boots or kicked-over P’s. (Since 2001’s 33 Allen has sporadically made paintings featuring his own current age; you wouldn’t put forename-initialising past him.) We’ll see that motif again, more complexly essayed and with airborne golden echoes of the central form flanking it, in the painting Postopia (2008).

— Martin Herbert

Visit Website


Critics' Picks: Phillip Allen

December 2008

Phillip Allen is known for combining landscape with Art Deco–inspired abstraction in his paintings. Whirling pinwheels, loopy arcs, blobs of paint, and Pop polka dots constitute a whimsical vocabulary that he repeats and reinterprets. For his third exhibition at this gallery, these motifs are streamlined into oil paintings on board, in which a central abstract form is rendered matte and flat and placed between robust impasto borders, as well as into a series of small paintings wherein blobs of built-up paint are placed around a found or incorporated image.

— Courtney J. Martin

Visit Website


Phillip Allen, The Approach, London

5 May 2004

Phillip  Allen’s  work  is  abstract  painting  of  a  dense  and sociable  kind.  Its  vast  spaces  are  filled  with  teeming  hordes  of small  forms,  coloured  blobs  that  congregate  along  axes  or radiate  from  distant  nodes. 

— Marcus  Verhagen

Download PDF Visit Website