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Kerry Phillips: Between the Mundane and the Miraculous

The Bass

October 8 @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Kerry Phillips

AUG 17-OCT 21,2023

Kerry Phillips: Between the mundane and the miraculous is an exhibition of newly commissioned work represents a career milestone as the Miami-based artist’s first solo museum exhibition, on view from August 17 – October 21, 2023.

Between the mundane and the miraculous explores the precarious intersections of materials—from the natural to the manufactured—that define humanity’s ongoing negotiations with industrialization, technology, the environment, and material culture.

For her exhibition at The Bass, Phillips constructs a large-scale, site-specific sculptural installation using myriad home goods including lamps, jars, the contents of junk drawers, fabric and scavenged objects “by the truckload.” Central to the installation is a landscape of salvaged carpet arranged into compositions. The mound of carpet with edges reveals the stratified layers beneath, composed of parts of dressers, lamps, old televisions and other appliances, jars, fabrics and yarn, table leaves, cushions, extension cords and more.

Phillips’ large-scale, sculptural and architectural creations are known for “making do” with scavenged or already-owned materials and using common objects in unexpected ways. The artist has a deep fascination with her own families’ and others’ domestic spaces and materials and as such, her work with found objects is intuitive and steeped in remembrance and storytelling. Long fascinated with what many people would consider useless or meaningless objects—junk—the artist sees her works as revealing an exchange of value, an understanding of the importance and limitations of memory and representing the vitality of playfulness. Art becomes a means for remembrance and connectivity.

Phillips’ parents grew up on farms where one of her grandmothers “collected/kept things” and the other was known for her masterful storytelling. Phillips says that both grandmothers had a tremendous influence on her, inspiring her approach to creating contemporary art sculptures and installations using materials available at a specific place and time—ranging from things found to collected experiences and retold stories.

The exhibition develops and reveals its own narrative specific to Miami, throughout the duration of that part of the installation, related to the diversity of the museum’s audiences.

Kerry Phillips uses common objects in unexpected ways, working collaboratively with viewer-participants to reveal an exchange of value, the importance and limitations of memory, and the vitality of play. Phillips earned an MFA from University of Arizona and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at the Orlando Museum of Art, Locust Projects, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Boca Raton Museum of Art, and Bridge Red Projects. She has exhibited and completed residencies in Ohio, Vermont, New York, North Carolina, and internationally in Berlin, Krakow, Mexico and France. Her work is held in the collections of the Orlando Museum of Art, The Girls’ Club and Mosquera Collections.


The Bass
2100 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL United States
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