The final edition of the late Tom Phillips’s ‘defining masterpiece of postmodernism’.
In 1966 the artist Tom Phillips discovered A Human Document (1892), an obscure Victorian romance by W.H. Mallock, and set himself the task of altering every page, by painting, collage or cut-up techniques, to create an entirely new version. Some of Mallock’s original text remains intact and through the illustrated pages the character of Bill Toge, Phillips’s anti-hero, and his romantic plight emerges.
First published in 1973, A Humument – as Phillips titled his altered book – quickly established itself as a cult classic. From that point, the artist worked towards a complete revision of his original, adding new pages in successive editions. That process is now finished. This final edition presents an entirely new and complete version of A Humument. It includes a revised Introduction by the late artist, in which he reflects on the 50-year project, and 92 new illustrated pages.