See You at the Fair

In his new show 'Funicular,' painter Joseph Phillips renders images of cable cars and Ferris wheels that cut across the canvas with geometric force

<i> Six of One </i>by Joseph Phillips
Six of One by Joseph Phillips

The wheel turns and up you go, rising above the midway along an arc until you can see the whole fair and the grounds beyond. The funny little gondola follows the cable up and up until you're over the treetops and buildings, enjoying a bird's-eye vantage point of the rides and amusements in the park below. We tend to think of cable cars and Ferris wheels in terms of the views we have from them, but in his new series of paintings, Joseph Phillips – one leg of the creative stool known as Sodalitas – gives us views of them. He depicts the machinery that carries us into the sky largely in silhouette, both close up and at a distance, the beams and cables rendered in thick, dark shapes that cut across the canvas with geometric force. The great expanses of space that frequently surround them add to a feeling of abstraction and create really dynamic compositions. Phillips has a way with space on a canvas, and these works show him in peak form. You can see them in the exhibition "Funicular," on view through Nov. 14 at plan B gallery, 604 W. Annie. For more information, call 441-6422 or visit

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Austin visual artist, Funicular, Joseph Phillips, plan B gallery, Sodalitas

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