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Hubert Phipps: Journey

Hubert Phipps, Serpent Sculpture, 17 x 48 x 17 inches, Corian, 2016

“I like things that are different. That is what fascinates me about abstract art.  The mystery of it. To me, the most powerful art is that which connects within me before I even start to analyze it. This is what I experience when I stand in the presence of the great works of art that have come before.”-Hubert Phipps

Hubert Phipps makes sculpture. He also works with paint and charcoal and paper. The materials he chooses to work with matters. The nature of the medium is part of his fascination with the process of making. He revels in this engagement with process, material, and that other significant ingredient, form. He wants to describe mass and imply volumetric space. He also wants to occupy the space with forms that hold their location.

His work comes out of the territory explored by David Smith, Still, Newman, Picasso, Gonzalez, and Moore. The latter of these encourages the loop, the serpentine, and the arabesque.

The natural is part of the equation. In one work, we see a steel version of Marsden Hartley’s mountains three-dimensionalized, contrasting against the rectilinear planes or poignant spaces in between things used in his other sculpture. In the paintings, color is a singular force, armed with the desire to find an appropriate scale. The paintings and drawings seem to be more about the travel and the journey than the sculpture, which is more about the arrival and destination. How these rival forces talk to each other is very interesting.

In Hubert Phipps’s world the sensual and the sensate, the forms and their intervals, carve out a personal vision of a sculptor resolutely and securely on the move.

-Graham Nickson


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