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Denis R. Phillips

Denis Ray Phillips was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1938. Phillips paints both abstract and realistic works; along with his wife, Bonnie Phillips, he is a co-owner of the Phillips Gallery, a long-time and successful art gallery in Salt Lake City. He lives in Salt Lake.

Phillips received his BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah where LeConte Stewart was a major influence on his work in 1962. Initially, he began to  paint in a formal tonalist style portraying the Utah landscape, but later in his career he also became known for his nonrepresentational work.

Near St. Charles Idaho (1974) is an example of his landscape work and Abstract Expressionism (1966), part of the Springville Museum of Art permanent collection, is an example of his nonrepresentational work. Phillips's work is in the permanent collections of Utah Museum of Fine Arts (Olpin Union Collection) and in the LDS Museum of Art.

Biography adapted from Springville Museum of Art.

Along with his artist-wife, Bonnie Phillips, this Salt Lake City painter of fine abstractions and interesting and varied realistic scenes, is co-owner and operator of Phillips Gallery, Utah's longest-running success story among today's larger commercial art dealerships. A University of Utah graduate, Phillips has work in the State Collection, at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (Olpin Union Collection), in the LDS Museum of Church History and Art, and elsewhere. A quiet gentleman, this excellent artist prefers to paint, though his involvement in exhibitions, the business, civic patronage, and the many other pursuits that have surrounded his art for years, is entirely full. The Phillips Gallery has quite an extensive schedule of one-person and group shows, with the major group shows at Christmas and in summer. The exhibits are planned and scheduled far in advance, and the gallery handles only Utah-connected artists. Then, as an artist himself, Denis Phillips has interests in both music and painting. As a painter, according to Ann Poore in her recent catalog entitled The Reality of Abstraction: Painting in Utah 1946-1996, he “moves back and forth between abstraction and realism. 'I like the change…It keeps things from getting too routine…I'm not trying to tell anybody anything. I'm just putting something on the wall that you can relate to visually. They are just there to be looked at.”

Biography courtesy of the Springville Museum of Art.

Newspaper Articles

"Artistic Landscape." The Salt Lake Tribune, April 20, 2003.

"Is Denis Phillips an Artist Who Writes Music?" The Salt Lake Tribune, May 3, 1992.


Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson, ed. The Artists Bluebook. Scottsdale, AZ: Askart.com, 2003.

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Peregrine Smith Books, 1991.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Paintings and Sculpture. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publishers, 1991.


 Last Modified 4/1/20