Patricia C. Phillips received a BA in Art from Muhlenberg College and did graduate studies in Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as RISD’s interim associate provost for the academic year 2012–13 and recently returned to her role as dean of Graduate Studies.
Phillips’ research and critical writing involve contemporary public art, architecture, sculpture, landscape and the intersection of these areas. Since 1980 her essays and reviews have been published in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Sculpture and Public Art Review, as well as in books and collected essays published by Rizzoli International Publications, Princeton Architectural Press, MIT Press, Actar Press, Bay Press and Routledge.
She has received individual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts. She has lectured nationally and internationally on contemporary public art, architecture and environmental art at such institutions as the Seattle Art Museum, Harvard University, the Institute for Contemporary Arts/University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Walker Art Center, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Teachers College/Columbia University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Ludwig Forum (Aachen), Moderna Museet (Stockholm) and University of London.
Phillips is a member of the editorial advisory boards of Public Art Review, Public and Public Art Dialogue, where she also serves as reviews editor. She is editor of City Speculations (1996) and author of Ursula von Rydingsvard: Working (2011) and It Is Difficult, a survey of the work of Alfredo Jaar (1998). She also has contributed major or sole texts to Breakthroughs: Avant-Garde Artists in Europe and America, 1950-1990 (1991), Public Address: Krzysztof Wodiczko (1993), Morphosis: The Crawford House (1998) and Ann Hamilton (1998).
Her curatorial and design projects include Disney Animators and Animation (Whitney Museum of Art, 1981), The POP Project (Institute for Contemporary Art/P.S. 1, 1988) and Making Sense: Five Installations on Sensation (Katonah Museum of Art, 1996). In 1996 she curated City Speculations, a major exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art.