Phyllis Bramson

Phyllis Bramson (born 1941) is an American artist, based in Chicago and known for "richly ornamental, excessive and decadent" paintings described as walking a tightrope between "edginess and eroticism." She combines eclectic influences, such as kitsch culture, Rococo art and Orientalism, in juxtapositions of fantastical figures, decorative patterns and objects, and pastoral landscapes that affirm the pleasures and follies of indulgent desire, imagination and looking. Bramson shares tendencies in the tune of the Chicago Imagists and broader Chicago tradition of surreal representation in her use of expressionist figuration, vernacular culture, bright color, and sexual imagery. Curator Lynne Warren wrote of her 30-year retrospective at the Chicago Cultural Center, "Bramson passionately paints from her center, so uniquely shaped in her formative years […] her pretty colors, fluttery, vignette compositions, and flowery and cartoony imagery Make works that are in reality like no one else's. Writer Miranda McClintic said that Bramson's works "incorporate the passionate profundity of eastern mythology, the sexual innuendos of soap operas and sometimes the glad endings of cartoons." Bramson's work has been exhibited in exhibitions and surveys at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution, and Corcoran Gallery of Art. In higher than forty one-person exhibitions, she has shown at the New Museum, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Boulder Art Museum, University of West Virginia Museum, and numerous galleries. She has been widely reviewed and recognized with John S. Guggenheim and Rockefeller instigation grants and the Anonymous Was A Woman Award, among others. She was one of the founding members of the further on women's art collaborative Artemisia Gallery and a long-time professor at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, until retiring in 2007.

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