Phyllis Bramson

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Phyllis Bramson
Born Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1973 MFA

University of Wisconsin/Madison, 1964 MA
Alma mater University of Illinois, Urbana, 1963 BFA
Occupation Artist

Phyllis Bramson (born in Madison, Wisconsin,[1] United States) is an American painter. Pastoral and sensual vignettes structure a dreamlike narrative in her exploration of Romantic love. Phyllis Bramson draws from numerous eras and styles, connecting the visual materials with color and patterning. While Bramson’s influences arise from a broad range of art history and popular culture, especially kitsch, the overall effect of her work is of a pleasant yet ultimately disquieting step away from reality that connects it to Surrealism, Rococo, and Chinese Pleasure Gardens. While not associated with any of the self-named groups, such as the Hairy Who, which emerged from the Hyde Park Art Center and came to be collectively dubbed “Chicago Imagism” in the 1970s, her work has many affinities to this style in its distorted figuration, bright colors, and often sexualized in appearance.

Art work[edit]

Phyllis Bramson has had over 40 one-person exhibitions including: In a Pictorial Framework at the New Museum in 1979, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Cultural Center of Chicago, Boulder Art Museum and Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (mid-career survey) and Claire Oliver Gallery, NY. Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, MO, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL, the Museum of West Virginia, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL, Littlejohn Contemporary, NY Rockford Art Museum, and the Chicago Cultural Center, and Gallerie Farideh Cadot in Paris, France.


Recipient of three National Endowments, Senior Fulbright Scholar, Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Grant, School of Art + Design at University of Illinois at Urbana "distinguished alumni award; “Distinguished Artist 2012” by the Union League Club of Chicago and selected as one of the Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Awardees for 2014.


Further reading[edit]

Cardoza, Kerry, et al, “Art 50 2016: Chicago’s Artists’ Artists” New City, September 17, 2016

Dluzen, Robin, “In Peak Form,” art ltd. Magazine, Sept/Oct 2016, pp 65–70

Miller, Chris, “Painting the Yearning of the Heart: A Review of Phyllis Bramson at the Cultural Center,” New City,

August 1, 2016

Waxman, Lori, “Say Yes: Phyllis Abounds at the Chicago Cultural Center,” Chicago Tribune, July 27, 2016

  • King, Elaine A. Phyllis Bramson, Paintings and Drawings, Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1985.
  • The Developing Image: Continuity and Change in a Chicago Artistic Tradition, University Art Museum, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1988.
  • Exhibition 12: Studio Arts Faculty-School of Art and Design, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1989.
  • The Locations of Desire, State of Illinois Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 1990.Chicago Imagism: A 25 Year Survey, Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, IA, 1994.
  • I Tremble for You: Phyllis Bramson, Mesaros Galleries, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, 2009.

External links[edit]