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“Love and Affection in a Hostile World” at the Herron School of Art and Design
The Herron School of Art and Design is presenting Phyllis Bramson’s exhibition, “Love and Affection in a Hostile World.” The exhibition surveys three decades of work, bringing together more than 25 paintings and assemblages.

Bramson will deliver the 2017 Christel DeHaan Family Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, in the Basile Auditorium at Eskenazi Hall. An opening reception will immediately follow the talk. The opening reception and artist’s talk are free and open to the public.

Click to read the Herron School of Art and Design’s press release, IUPUI Newsroom.

Herron School of Art and Design – Eskenazi Hall | 735 W. New York St.; Indianapolis, IN | www.herrongalleries.org
March 8 –April 15, 2017

art ltd. Magazine • January/February 2017
2016 Top Tens – Favorite exhibitions throughout the year
By James Yood

James Yood counts Phyllis Bramson exhibition, “Phyllis Bramson: Under the Pleasure Dome,” among his top 10 exhibitions of 2016.

To read more, download the article, 2016 TOP TENS.

“Best of 2016: A Few Final Thoughts on Music and Art,” at Third Coast Review
Bianca Bova, art writer for
Third Coast Review, an online publication covering Chicago culture and the arts, reviews Bramson’s past exhibition, “Under the Pleasure Dome” as one of the Best of 2016.

Click to read more, Third Coast Review.

“Silly, Difficult, and Not Easily Ignored: an Interview with Phyllis Bramson,” at Method Magazine
Ben Medina, writing for Wesleyan University’s lifestyle, arts, and culture magazine,
Method Magazine, interviews Phyllis Bramson about her fervid, salaciously funny neon fantasies.

Click to read more, Method Magazine.

“Phyllis Bramson’s Take on Pleasure and Folly,” at Bad at Sport blog
Lise McKean of the blog, Bad at Sports, talks with Phyllis Bramson about what’s in her sightlines after a recent run of Chicago area exhibitions.

Click to read more, Bad at Sports.

Newcity Magazine • September 17, 2016
Art 50 2016: Chicago’s Artists’ Artists
By Kerry Cardoza, et al

This year, Newcity’s Art 50 honors the artists who inspire all of us to see our city in a better, more beautiful light. From social practice doyens to venerable painters and sculptors, the city on the make keeps making better art each day.

Click to read more, Art 50 2016.

art ltd. Magazine • Sept/Oct 2016
In Peak Form
By Robin Dluzen

A trio of female chicago artists—Barbara Rossi, Phyllis Bramson, and Diane Simpson—are hitting their stride and attracting new fans, well into their careers.

To read more, download the article, In Peak Form.
(PDF: 5 MB)

“My World…And Everywhere It Takes Me” at Littlejohn Contemporary
A solo exhibition featuring new paintings.

Littlejohn Contemporary | 547 W. 27th St., New York | www.littlejohncontemporary.com
October 12–November 12, 2016

Artadia to show works by Phyllis Bramson at Expo Chicago 2016
Artadia will exhibit works by 2004 Chicago Artadia Awardee Phyllis Bramson. Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Menil Collection, Houston, TX, selected Bramson’s work from a pool of Chicago-based Artadia Awardees.

Why “Bad Behavior” and “Inappropriateness” Can Be an Artist’s Necessity in the Studio
To read,
Booth Talk with Phyllis Bramson and Toby Kamps, access Artadia.

Chicago Tribune • July 27, 2016
Say yes: Phyllis Bramson abounds at the Cultural Center
By Lori Waxman

Longtime Chicagoan and veteran art professor Phyllis Bramson has a career retrospective up this summer at the Cultural Center. “Under the Pleasure Dome” is a glorious whirlwind of excess, kitsch and desire in the form of three decades’ worth of paintings and assemblages.

To read more, download, Say yes: Phyllis Bramson abounds at the Cultural Center.
(PDF: 0.5 MB)

Newcity Magazine • August 1, 2016
Review: Phyllis Bramson
By Chris Miller

The most visually thrilling painting in Phyllis Bramson’s thirty-year retrospective is the earliest one. “Shipwreck” (1987) depicts an emotional, rather than nautical, disaster. The upside-down, bare-bottomed heroine clings to the mast as waves swirl around the sinking ship.

To read more, download, Review: Phyllis Bramson.
(PDF: 0.5 MB)

“A Summer Exhibition” at Shane Campbell Gallery
A group exhibition featuring Phyllis Bramson, Ann Craven, Ellen Gronemeyer, Jim Lutes, Eric Mack, Dianna Molzan, and Ivan Morley

Shane Campbell Gallery | 2021 S. Wabash Ave.; Chicago | www.shanecampbellgallery.com
July 9–August 27, 2016

“Phyllis Bramson: Under the Pleasure Dome” at the Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center’s exhibition, “Under the Pleasure Dome” is a wide selection of paintings and assemblages drawn from the artist’s collection and illustrative of her work over many years, including examples of her most recent “scroll” series.

Chicago Cultural Center | 78 E. Washington St.; Chicago, IL | www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca.html
June 4–August 28, 2016

The perfumed garden (loss of happiness), 16' apart including scroll, mixed media,
found objects, and paper scroll, 27" W × 60" H × 18' L (approx.) 2016

The Chicago Department of Transportation uses Phyllis Bramson’s art to transform Michigan Avenue medians
In a special tribute this summer, the Chicago Department of Transportation will take inspiration from Phyllis Bramson’s artwork for the design and color palette of the median landscaping along Michigan Avenue from Roosevelt Road to Oak Street. Bramson’s 30 year retrospective, “Under the Pleasure Dome,” will be exhibiting at the Chicago Cultural Center starting in June. Through interviews, studio visits and analysis, CDOT has produced a landscape design that reflects the curving natural forms and fanciful imagery found in Ms. Bramson’s art.

To read more, download the Chicago Department of Transportation’s presentation. (PDF)
Explore the Cultural Mile with this self-guided walking tour map. (PDF)
Summer 2016

“Surrealism: The Conjured Life” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Surrealism: The Conjured Life, curated by Lynne Warren, presents more than 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs that demonstrate the deep currents that Surrealism sent through the international art world – and especially through Chicago – since its emergence in the first half of the twentieth century. Chicago collectors donated major works by those we now consider “classical” Surrealists, forming an early and continuing collection strength. These artworks also proved inspirational to generations of Chicago-based artists, from the immediate postwar group dubbed the Monster Roster to the Hairy Who and others, a further expression of the continuing lure of “the conjured life” that results in strange, often magical, and sometimes disturbing, imagery. Phyllis Bramson’s work is included in this exhibition.

Museum of Contemporary Art | 220 E. Chicago Ave.; Chicago | www.mcachicago.org
November 21, 2015–June 5, 2016

Gallery walk and conversation about Surrealism's influence with: Phyllis Bramson, Antonio Contro, Buzz Spector and the Curator, Lynne Warren.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 6:00 pm.

“Phyllis Bramson: A Thirty Year Retrospective” at the Rockford Art Museum

Rockford Art Museum | 711 N. Main Street; Rockford, IL | www.rockfordartmuseum.org
October 2015–January 2016

Click here to view catalogue.

“Objects to Be Contemplated” Ringling College of Art + Design

Curator of Galleries and Exhibitions for Ringling College of Art and Design, Mark Ormond, has brought the exhibition together to celebrate Dean’s curatorial expertise. According to Ormond, “This exhibition will be a tribute to Kevin Dean’s eye as a discriminating curator. It will also help the visitor understand the process of organizing exhibitions. The range of media displayed should provide the viewer with a visual panoply that will transport them to places both familiar and new.”

Ringling College of Art + Design – Selby Gallery | 2700 North Tamiami Trail; Sarasota, FL | www.ringling.edu/selbygallery
February 27–April 4, 2015

Phyllis Bramson-Affectionate Arbitrary Anecdotes

In COMP Magazine, an art & design magazine produced by the Art & Design Department at the University of St. Francis, Phyllis discusses her affinity with Chicago, romantic nature, thoughtful and sometimes irrelevant meditation, and why painting is still highly relevant in contemporary art dialogues.

Click to read more, COMP.

“Phyllis Bramson’s Complex Eroticism” included in the online webzine, INSIDE \ WITHIN

Phyllis’s studio in her Greektown loft appears as a collage itself, filled with drawers and portfolios that contain the scraps and images that she layers onto her complex works. Phyllis’s pieces have the quality of a collected chaos, abstracted narratives of fairytales and erotic encounters weaved throughout her large-scale pieces.

INSIDE\WITHIN is a constantly updating web archive devoted to physically exploring the creative spaces of Chicago's emerging and established artists.

Click to read more, INSIDE\WITHIN.

US Edition, The Wall Street Journal • September 14, 2013
Beauty and Style On the Outside, Charm Within
Gallery Exhibitions of Bill Traylor, Gene Davis and Phyllis Bramson

By Peter Plagens

Phyllis Bramson (b. 1941) is something of a beloved artist in Chicago, whose arts community probably has the largest per-capita number of beloved artists of any city. It isn’t hard to understand why. In a metropolis whose major postwar art style was everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Imagism (think Dr. Seuss on LSD), Ms. Bramson’s pictures are influenced by 18th-century French Rococo art and paintings of Chinese “pleasure gardens”; they contain – to condense from the gallery’s press release – conceits about life, miniaturized worlds and fairy tales, and speak about longing, innuendo and clichés.

Getting all of this into paintings of moderate size is a tall order, and to accomplish that with any sort of charm – the strong point of Ms. Bramson’s art – would seem even more difficult. Oddly, it’s a kind of crudity – a deliberately semiclumsy combining of Western realism, Asian fog and flatness, collage and occasional glitter – that does the trick. If Ms. Bramson’s paintings were any slicker, they wouldn’t look as heartfelt as they do.

Phyllis Bramson: Small Personal Dilemmas
Littlejohn Contemporary, 547 W. 27th St., (203) 451-5050
September 3–28, 2013

— Mr. Plagens is an artist and writer in New York

Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Phyllis Bramson has been selected as one of the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement recipients for 2014. The Lifetime Achievement Awards were first presented in 1979 in President Jimmy Carter’s Oval Office, to Isabel Bishop, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Other notable past honorees include Elizabeth Murray, Howardena Pindell, Suzi Gablik, Nancy Graves, Ellen Lanyon, Louise Bourgeois, and Lee Krasner. Past honorees have represented the full range of distinguished achievement in the visual art professions. This year’s recipients are Harmony Hammond, Adrian Piper, Faith Wilding, and Phyllis Bramson. These awards are part of the Women’s Caucus for Art Annual Conference, held in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the College Art Association (of which the Women’s Caucus for Art is an affiliate group) that will be held in Chicago, February 2014.

The awards recognize the contributions made by women who have distinguished themselves by their activism and commitment to the women’s movement and to the arts. Selections for the Annual Honor Awards for Lifetime Achievement are among the most important actions the WCA takes to increase the recognition of women’s contributions in the visual arts. An illustrated catalogue with a short biography of each recipient and an essay in tribute to each recipient work and ideas, will accompany the award.

Women's Caucus for Art | www.nationalwca.org

“Vice/Virtue” at the Northern Illinois University Art Museum
Vice—immorality and wickedness—and virtue—moral goodness and righteousness—are often considered mutually exclusive. This broadly-interpreted theme is loosely based on the traditional seven “deadly sins” (wrath, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and gluttony) and the seven “heavenly virtues” (faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice, temperance and prudence). How do these qualities translate into contemporary society? This cluster of exhibitions focuses on the dynamics of particular vices, virtues or areas of overlap and intersection.

Northern Illinois University Art Museum | Altgeld Hall, NIU Campus; DeKalb, IL | www.niu.edu/artmuseum
January 8–February 23, 2013

FIGURISM: Narrative and Fantastic Figurative Art
from the Illinois State Museum Collection

The Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery presents, “Figurism: Narrative and Fantastic Figurative Art from the Illinois State Museum Collection.” Organized by Assistant Curator Doug Stapleton of the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, the exhibition brings together historical and contemporary artwork that emphasizes the power and the range of the narrative and expressive figure in Midwest art. It does not try to define a regional figurative tradition but shows how ‘figurism’ has endured and evolved into pluralistic, eclectic, and highly individualized expressions.

Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery | James R. Thompson Center; Chicago | www.museum.state.il.us
January 30–February 3, 2012

SOFA Chicago 2011: Lecture Series
Henry Darger's Bright and Guilty Place

Artist Phyllis Bramson is inspired and provoked by the “censoring side” of Henry Darger’s images, particularly the feeling that his images might be often misunderstood or misdirected. In the presentation, she will address how her work and Darger’s art intersect in that regard, and the ways Darger’s concocted inner world has influencing her art making. Presented by Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago

SOFA Chicago 2011 | Room 326, Navy Pier, Festival Hall; Chicago
Sunday, November 6, 2011, 2–3 pm.

Henry Darger

Phyllis Bramson

Chicago Gallery News • August–December 2011
Considering the Chicago Artist
by Kevin Nance

“And although abstraction and conceptual art hold greater sway than in the past, figurative painting, often with a surrealist bent, remains vital here. From Henry Darger, Ivan Albright and Seymour Rosofsky to Phyllis Bramson, Wesley Kimler and Kerry James Marshall, the figure is as close to an artistic through-line as there is in the history of Chicago art.”

To read more, download Kevin Nance’s article, “Considering the Chicago Artist.” (PDF)

Phyllis Bramson selected as a Distinguished Artist for 2012, along with Anne Wilson
In 1997, at the recommendation of the Art Committee, the Union League Club of Chicago established the Distinguished Artists program. The purpose of the program is to honor select Chicago-area artists for their contributions to both the visual arts and the community. In 2002, the Club extended the program to include authors and musicians. Internationally known, the artists who have been inducted into the program choose to make Chicago their home and continue to contribute to the cultural well-being and world-class status of our community. Some previously honored artists include: Dawoud Bey, Kerry James Marshall, Ed Paschke, Barbara Crane, Michiko Itatani, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, William Conger and Vera Klement. For more information, visit the Union League Club’s Distinguished Artists Program website, www.www.ulcc.org

E Pluribus Unum: Artists Picture Society
This exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers the perspectives of modern and contemporary American artists whose works ponder ethnicity, gender, race, class, and political belief. The various understandings of these artists bear witness to who we are as a society and demonstrate the hopefulness and complexities inherent in regarding the United States as a great “melting pot.” Artists represented in the exhibition include Diane Arbus, Phyllis Bramson, Warrington Colescott, Christo, John Steuart Curry, Juan Sanchez, and Andy Warhol.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art | 227 State Street; Madison, WI | www.mmoca.org
June 25, 2011–June 10, 2012.

Provocateurs will feature two painters: Phyllis Bramson and Adam Scott of Chicago.

John A. Day Gallery, Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts, University of South Dakota
Vermillion, South Dakota
November 1–November 30, 2011.

Bramson Breaking the Mold of Ageism in the Art World:
Chicago Art Magazine Begins the “40 Over 40” Series

In Chicago Art Magazine’s “40 over 40” series, they highlighted artists over 40, most of whom occupy the “emerging” or “mid-career” status. The series seeks to challenge the New Museum’s acclaimed “Younger Than Jesus” exhibit, which only allowed artists under the age of 33. The magazine sent out a call for nominations and drew from an internal pool of artists selected by the editors.

To read more, click to read Robin Dluzen’s article, “40 over 40: The Heavy Hitters.”

Seeing Is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion
Further solidifying Nutt’s stature as an internationally significant artist, “Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character” provides an excellent opportunity to expand the artistic framework in which to consider his work beyond Chicago’s Hairy Who. “Seeing Is a Kind of Thinking,” a companion exhibition, includes work by more than 50 contemporary artists that resonates—either formally or through its subject matter—with aspects of Nutt’s work.
The exhibition is organized into four thematic sections that examine how artists look to comics, folk art and non-Western art as source material; representations of surrealist psycho-sexual dramas; the traditional portrait bust genre; and an architectural approach to materials that oscillates between 2-D drawings and 3-D forms. Artists represented in the exhibition include: Tomma Abts, Francis Bacon, Enrico Baj, Don Baum, Hans Bellmer, Phyllis Bramson, Victor Brauner, Chuck Close, George Condo, William Copley, Aaron Curry, Dominick Di Meo, Carroll Dunham, Oyvind Fahlstrom, James Falconer, Tony Fitzpatrick, John Graham, Art Green, Leon Golub, Theodore Halkin, Miyoko Ito, Rashid Johnson, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Wifredo Lam, Eric Lebofsky, Fernand Leger, Richard Lindner, Robert Lostutter, Jim Lutes, Rene Magritte, Margherita Manzelli, Kerry James Marshall, Matta, Wangechi Mutu, Bruce Nauman, Rachel Niffenegger, Gladys Nilsson, Paul Nudd, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Lari Pittman, Christina Ramberg, Martin Ramirez, Richard Rezac, Suellen Rocca, Kay Rosen, Peter Saul, Cindy Sherman, Diane Simpson, Steven Urry, Chris Ware, Andy Warhol, H. C. Westermann, Karl Wirsum, Frances Whitehead, Sue Williams, Scottie Wilson, Joseph Yoakum, Ray Yoshida, and Claire Zeisler.

Museum of Contemporary Art | 220 E. Chicago Ave.; Chicago | www.mcachicago.org
January 29–May 29, 2011

Awarded an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant for 2009
Anonymous Was a Woman is a grant program focused on supporting individual women artists. The phrase is taken from A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf’s classic statement of the challenges facing women seeking to create art. With these four words, Woolf succinctly and powerfully evoked the centuries-long struggle of women to gain recognition as artists. Yet there is much more to this innovative grant program than its thought-provoking name. Anonymous Was a Woman was created to fill a national need. In 1995, the National Endowment for the Arts, under intense political pressure, discontinued funding individual artists. This galvanized an unnamed woman artist in New York to take action. “It was obvious there was a need for more private support,” she later wrote. So she used her personal funds to help fill that void. Since 1996, Anonymous Was a Woman has awarded ten grants of $25,000 each per year, except one year when eleven were given. The purpose is to support women visual artists over the age of 45 who are at a critical juncture in their lives or careers. The overriding purpose of the grants is to allow artists to pursue their work. Read more about this organization at their website, www.philanthropyadvisorsny.org

Distinguished Alumni Award
The School of Art Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has instituted the Distinguished Alumni Award given to past alums based on their accomplishments to their field and community. Bramson was selected by the faculty to be one of their first celebrated alums. This award was presented at a reception for alumni during the CAA’s conference held in Chicago, in February 2010.