A Passionate Experimentalist, Painter Phillip J. Hampton 

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Hampton was a 30-year-old Army veteran and commercial artist with the Kansas City Call, a weekly black newspaper, when he earned his MFA. The year he graduated, he began teaching at Savannah State College (now University) in Georgia, and played an instrumental role in developing the school’s art and design program and expanding its facilities. He relocated to Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill. (SIUE), in 1969. There, he taught printmaking, design, and painting, and participated in the wider academic community, curating exhibitions, leading workshops, giving lectures and writing articles.

A painter who worked in abstraction and professor emeritus at SIUE, Hampton died Dec. 17, 2016. In the months since, a fully illustrated digital volume about his life and work has been published and some of his paintings appeared in an African American fine art sale at Ripley Auctions of Indianapolis, Ind., on March 18.

His obituary, published in the Edwardsville Intelligencer in Illinois, cites his evolving painting style and approach to his work: “Although Hampton’s early works were characterized by an interest in perception and the realities and aesthetics of the world around him, a shift began to take place in the 1960s when he began to investigate abstraction. …He found abstraction to be infinitely satisfying because it allowed him to break free of representational constraints. With abstraction, he could address philosophical concerns without being bound to specific narratives or didactic ideas.”

Source: Culture Type

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