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After Henry James
After Henry James- signed limited edition inkjet print with embossing and silkscreen glaze by British contemporary artist Tom Phillips RA
Is taken from the pastel We Work in the Dark Phillips made in 2006. The text used in the composition is- as the title suggests- taken from Henry James the famous nineteenth century novelist,
'We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.' The Happening 1893.
After Henry James highlights the affinity between Phillips' artworks and works of literature- a thread apparent in his work throughout his career. Phillips translated and illustrated Dante's Inferno, he has recently written the libretto for an opera based on Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, and of course his ongoing work A Humument is inspired by another nineteenth century writer: WH Mallock.
Phillips is not just intrigued and inspired by literature, he is also interested in the physical inclusion of lettering and text in his works; both to convey meaning and also as an ornamental element, ‘Ornament often goes hand in hand with script both in the great illuminated pages of Christian illumination and the masterpieces of Arabic art’ . The outer frame of the composition is made up of an abstract colour pattern that Phillips has been exploring in his Quantum Poetics panels.