Exhibition of the week: Tom Phillips, Flowers Gallery, London W1


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The Independent Culture

Tom Phillips has been engaged in a kind of mad, off-kilter art-play all his life – he is 76 – a practice involving the refining and revisiting of favourite themes.

The tiny works in this exhibition are described as oil collages, but that makes them sound conventional. Not at all. Their iridescent surfaces resemble stained glass and mosaic.

Looking closer, they are assembled from fragments of palette, hovering between the abstract and the figurative as they play delicate variants on themes of old-masterishness before hinting at the maker's own mortality (In the Days That Remain). So much wonderfully madcap play to a serious end.

020 7439 7766, to 12 October