New York, New York
Born in New York City, Matt Phillips lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for a time and then moved to Philadelphia. He initially pursued a career as a poet and, in 1952, earned an M.A. in literature from the University of Chicago; at the same time, he was studying art at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania. He then studied at Stanford University. After traveling extensively in Europe, Phillips accepted a teaching position at Pennsylvania State University. He returned to Europe in 1962 to teach for two years at the American College in Paris. On his return to the United States in 1964, Phillips joined the faculty of Bard College in upstate New York, where he taught until moving to California in 1987. Having retired from Bard, he now devotes his time to exhibitions, travel and guest lectures. As early as 1961, Phillips had begun making monotypes and writing about the process. His efforts to organize monotype exhibitions, as well as his own concentration on the medium, helped to re-introduce contemporary artists to a technique that had been favored by ninteenth-century artists. Phillips's subtle and delicate prints have been inspired in part by the monotypes of Maurice Brazil Prendergast and Edgar Degas. Phillips has been honored with retrospectives of his work at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1976 and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., in 1978.