Primarily working with ceramics, Phillips creates objects and scenes that are intimately connected to the body. Her sculptures mostly avoid direct figuration, however, and instead propose various interventions into and support structures for the body, emphasizing its absence from the works. Impressions of the human form are visible through elements like casts of orifices, handprints, and other traces, which indicate particular bodily placements in relation to her forms. While suggestive of particular functions and purposes that are overtly physical, these works also extend to the social and psychological. For Phillips, the body is entangled in the real and abstract spaces of politics, evident through indications given in her arrangements as well as the works’ titles, which are often directives for specific actions.
Julia Phillips (b. 1985, Hamburg, Germany) lives and works in New York City. She has been included in group exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Kitchen, New York; and Kunsthaus, Hamburg. Phillips is currently included in the New Museum Triennial.