In 1964, Peter Phillips was awarded a travel fellowship that brought him to New York City, where he lived until 1966. It was there that he realized his approach to artmaking aligned with aspects of American culture and Pop art’s incorporation of commercial iconography. Throughout his body of work, Phillips borrows imagery and hard-edged, precise patterns from game boards, pin-up magazines, comic books, and other everyday sources. War/Game depicts opposing Confederate and Union forces through typical emblems of combat: flags, guns, and uniforms. In works such as this, Phillips combined areas of machine-inspired precision with sections that are more painterly to create assemblage-like compositions. Not unlike artist Robert Indiana, whose work is also in the Albright-Knox's collection, he often returned to similar imagery in multiple compositions.
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018