Philip Swan’s geometric compositions have a minimalist style, which contradict the process in which they are created, and the way that Philip conceives of the work. He sometimes spends a month on an individual painting, building up layers of underpainting before he adds the black and white shapes on top of the painted lines.
Modern geometric paintings typically have smooth, immaculate surfaces. Philips’s work reveals the history of the painting through the textured lines of the previous layers. This makes the paintings more intimate, leaving the mark of the artist as he pushed his way to the final composition.
Additionally, the paintings have an architectural quality, and the black and white shapes create negative and positive spaces that allow the eye to adjust and see the piece in multiple ways. Philip explains that a painting is done when he has “striped it down to its essentials.”