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Robin Dluzen Review in Visual Art Source 2013

Chicago artist Phyllis Bramson has been practicing at a steady clip for over 40 years, during which time she has remained nestled resolutely within Chicago’s Imagist tradition. The figures here are skillfully rendered, stressed and uncomfortable, and with a healthy dose of kitsch. Given this adherence, Bramson has developed a full pictorial language all her own.

Bramson’s paintings have come to be known for fully- or semi-nude subjects, strange sex, gaudy ornament, vintage Americana imagery, and associations with Orientalism, with all its adverse connotations. All of this continues to pervade the works in her current exhibition “Love and Affection in a Troubled World.” While the density of her earlier works are satisfying for their overwrought complexity, many of the current works are simpler, with hard-edged shapes and geometric abstraction governing the compositions. Intermingling these flat, saturated forms with Bramson’s lively and peculiar figures produces a distinct visual tension - a new development that certainly pays off. 

Glitter, pom-poms, appliqué and printed paper mingle with a wide range of painting styles, from thin layers, loose gestures and airbrush-like spurts, to tight representation and cut and collaged bits sourced from the paintings of factory-like commercial production or flea market and thrift store finds. A preoccupation with lowbrow art is matched with the artist’s reverence for high art's historical canon. Allusions to art history have always been a key element in Bramson’s works, and within the paintings here the artist nods often to minimalism. "In Praise Of Folly—The Maze Speaks" pares Bramson’s ubiquitous figure down to a mere headless torso relegated to the lower corner of a work featuring a winding maze emitting a speech bubble along with a tiny ode to Brice Marden collaged in the upper left corner. Works like "In Praise Of Folly—Spider" and "In Praise Of Folly—Melancholy Abstraction" are each punctuated with weighty black shapes, creating stark, formal divisions within the pictures.

The emphasis in on bold, abstract elements in many of the works in “Love and Affection in a Troubled World” lends an air of order to the myriad of references, sources and materials Bramson has accumulated throughout her long career. "Eve," the sole sculptural work in the exhibition, is a Buddha-like figurine encrusted with cheap fabric flowers and ceramic tchotchkes. She is paired with a small round canvas on the wall. Placed at the entrance to the gallery, "Eve" presides over the rest of the works in Bramson’s exhibition with a calm countenance, setting the tone for a focused and mature body of work.

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wttw interview “What Came After”

Click here to watch the full interview from wttw Chicago.

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Defining Chicago Imagism: A Review of What Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-1998 at the Elmhurst Art Museum by Chris Miller in Newcity

It is always significant when Newcity publishes a review, click here to read the full article.

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“What Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-1998” organized by Phyllis Bramson at the Elmhurst Art Museum September 14, 2019 - January 12, 2020

The exhibition What Came After : Figurative Painting in Chicago 1979 - 1998, organized by artist Phyllis Bramson, is a survey of diverse interests in the figure as a subject, the human condition, and an interest in personal iconography. Many have struggled with understanding and processing the term Chicago Imagism since it was first used in the early 1970s, including artists that built on the ideas of their peers or sought to break free from expectations of that legacy. This later generation of artists—which have been called several names including third generation Imagists, Post-Imagists, and the Chicago School—will be celebrated and better defined through the exhibition What Came After. These painters each became recognized in their own right, but were not branded as a recognized group. The show of 30 paintings will serve as an introduction to these artists for a broad audience, while also examining a specific time and place in Chicago’s recent history. Artists include Nicholas Africano, Phyllis Bramson, Susanne Doremus, Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, Richard Hull, Michiko Itatani, Paul Lamantia, Robert Lostutter, Jim Lutes, Tony Phillips, David Sharpe, Hollis Sigler, Ken Warneke, Margaret Wharton, and Mary Lou Zelazny.

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by Chris Miller

“Skin Deep: A Review of Serious Vanity at One After 909”

“Kiss Kiss Kiss,” the subtitle of Phyllis Bramson’s “Ladies in Waiting” suggests a more cynical view of gender roles, appropriate for an artist with nearly fifty years more life experience. Quoting female attractiveness as displayed in European art museums or Asian gift shops, the central figure seems to be asking viewers whether any of it makes any sense. In “Cinderella, the Other Story,” a parody of yet another Disney fairy tale, the central character tries on the crystal slipper. Instead of being noble and handsome, however, the prince is ugly and lecherous as he fondles her leg and sucks on her knee. Yuck! It looks like the wicked step sisters are going to have the last laugh after all.” Click here to read the full review.


Phyllis Bramson “On Trusting Your Eye and Being Tested as an Artist” in the Creative Independent

“Artist Phyllis Bramson on the process behind her paintings, the ways in which pleasure and sexuality inform her work, and the variety of ways the world tests you over the course of your career.” Click here to read the article.


Instagram repost from Phyllis Bramson’s mid-career retrospective @ The Renaissance Society

“Phyllis Bramson's 1986 solo presentation featured more than 30 paintings and drawings made between 1973 and 1986. “Bramson’s imagery has evolved as a personal typology, although some of the artist’s sources are readily apparent: stage and costume designs, fashion illustrations, popular decorative formulas of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, Persian miniatures, Japanese prints, and a broad spectrum of images in Western art ranging from Bosch to the present day.” (from the original exhibition text)”

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Inland Art | A not-in-New York artist by Paul Krainak

A article that gives a strong case for the nature and strength of Midwest artists (while I feel strongly about this article I don’t think Michelle Grabner or Kerry James Marshall might!)

Click for more information


WTTW Art & Design in Chicago

Featured in (more like snippets) Art & Design in Chicago (produced by Daniel Andries) on WTTW Episode 1: If You Build It, Episode 3: Give The Customer What They Want, and Episode 4: Off The Grid (all the drawings shown are by Phyllis Bramson)

Click for more information

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Between the Buildings: Art From Chicago,

1930s - 1980s @ Krannert Art Museum

While displaying works by loosely-affiliated groups, such as the Monster Roster and the Chicago Imagist artists, this exhibition will also feature work by students and professors from the New Bauhaus/Institute of Design, a selection of works from a 1970 SAIC portfolio, and other artists working independently.

Artists: Don Baum, Phyllis Bramson, Fred Berger, Harry Callahan, Barbara Crane, Henry Darger, Leon Golub, Richard Hunt, Vera Klement, Ellen Lanyon, Nathan Lerner, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Ed Paschke. Curated by Kathryn Koca Polite.

Click for more information

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Phyllis Bramson on Wikipedia

Click here to view Wikipedia page.

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Phyllis Bramson featured in Art In Chicago: A History From The Fire To Now

Included in Alterity Rocks 1973 - 1993 written by Jenni Sorkin featuring an image of an early Phyllis Bramson sculpture, ‘Baby Heidi Chair’.

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A View From the Easel

Featured in Hyperallergic’s A View From the Easel blog, showing Phyllis Bramson’s studio (in Chicago, Illinois).

Click for more information.


The Figure and the Chicago Imagists: Selections from Elmhurst College Art Collection (including Phyllis Bramson)

September 8, 2018 - January 13, 2019

“The Figure and the Chicago Imagists: Selections from the Elmhurst College Art Collection,” curated by Suellen Rocca, one of the original members of the Hairy Who collective and current Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Elmhurst College.

Over and over, the Chicago Imagists cast the figure in numerous roles, distorting it and layering it with metaphor and personal meaning. Outrageous, irreverent, humorous and inspired by popular culture, these works reflect highly original expressions of the human form.  This exhibition features over 30 works from the internationally known Elmhurst College Art Collection, focused on artists working in Chicago between about 1950 and the present.

Click here for more information.


Art & Life with Phyllis Bramson

Click here to read the recent article "Art & Life with Phyllis Bramson" published by Voyage Chicago..


A Big Important Art Book: Profiles of Unstoppable Female Artists--and Projects to Help You (including Phyllis Bramson)

Walk into any museum, or open any art book, and you'll probably be left wondering: where are all the women artists? A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women) offers an exciting alternative to this male-dominated art world, showcasing the work of dozens of contemporary women artists alongside creative prompts that will bring out the artist in anyone!This beautiful book energizes and empowers women, both artists and amateurs alike, by providing them with projects and galvanizing stories to ignite their creative fires. Each chapter leads with an assignment that taps into the inner artist, pushing the reader to make exciting new work and blaze her own artistic trail. Interviews, images, and stories from contemporary women artists at the top of their game provide added inspiration, and historical spotlights on art "herstory" tie in the work of pioneering women from the past. With a stunning, gift-forward package and just the right amount of pop culture-infused feminism, this book is sure to capture the imaginations of aspiring women artists  Author: Danielle Krysa

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Cleve Carney Print Portfolio

The Cleve Carney Print Portfolio is a limited edition portfolio created to honor the legacy of the late Cleve Carney. The portfolios each contain prints by Chicago artists Phyllis Bramson, Michelle Grabner, Judy Ledgerwood, Tony Tasset, and Richard Rezac.

All money raised through the sale of the portfolio will go to the College of DuPage's Cleve Carney Art Gallery Fund and will be used to continue the presentation and support of contemporary art at the Cleve Carney Art Gallery.

Limited edition of 20, click here for more information.

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"Casting Inside" traveling to Essex Flowers, New York, NY

A group exhibition curated by Matt Morris, "Casting Inside" was previously seen at ADDS DONNA in Chicago, IL, and will be traveling to New York to Essex Flowers.  The show will run from June 29 to July 29, 2018.

Essex Flowers | 19 Monroe st, New York, NY June 29 - July 29, 2018                         

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"Casting Inside" at ADDS DONNA, Chicago, IL


ADDS DONNA presents Phyllis Bramson in a group exhibition with Josh Dihle and Cathy Hsiao, curated by Matt Morris, “Casting Inside,” opening November 17 and continuing through December 16, 2017.

ADDS DONNA | 3252 W. North Ave, Chicago, |L
November 17–December 16, 2017

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70+: Chicago Visual Artist Oral History Archive

Collected by Linda L. Kramer and Sandra Binion between 2010 and 2013, these oral histories were donated to the Ryerson & Burnham Archives in 2013. According to Kramer, the artists received a list of questions before their interviews so that they had the opportunity to assemble factual material relating to their careers. Suggested topics included: academic study, family background, cultural influences, gallery affiliations, exhibitions, awards, artistic influences and the role of Chicago in their work and career. The duration of the interviews varies from less than an hour to 2-1/2 hours.

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“Zolla/Lieberman Gallery Presents Two Compelling Solo Exhibitions,” at Third Coast Review

Tom Wawzenek of Third Coast Review, reviews two recent exhibitions at Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, including Bramson’s Opulent Flim-Flam, a show that integrates, “sensual and provocative musings on spiritual matters.”

Click to read more, Third Coast Review.


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“Opulent Flim-Flam” at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery presents Phyllis Bramson’s solo exhibition, “Opulent Flim-Flam,” opening September 8 and continuing through October 21, 2017.

Danny Orendorff, Manager of Public and Community Engagement Programs for the Museum of Arts and Design, writes about Bramson, “Flirting with the psychosexual subconscious of Americana objects, winking at conventions of ‘good taste,’ and pinching at the backside of our public facades of normalcy: Bramson’s aesthetic is that of the bawdy banal. It is sentimental, and it is smart. Through iconography and innuendo Bramson searches for, and somehow depicts, complex worlds of desire, emotion, and curiosity that cultural fantasy, industry, and kitsch-commodity (or, in other words: post-modernity) have conspired to make possible.”

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery | 325 W. Huron St.; Chicago |
September 8–October 21, 2017

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Phyllis Bramson’s art inspires Valparaiso University art professor Robert Sirko during his cancer recovery

When Robert Sirko was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, the longtime professor of art at Valparaiso University instinctively began drawing images of “evil cancerous beings,” as he put it. While waiting for a doctor appointment in Chicago, Sirko wandered into the Chicago Cultural Center in 2016 and witnessed the work of Phyllis Bramson. Sirko knew immediately that he wanted to emulate her approach.

To read more, click here.

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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 |
March 8 –April 15, 2017

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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. 

Click here to read full article.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

Click here to read full article.

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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.

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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.

Click here to read the full article.

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Newcity Magazine • August 1, 2016
Review: Painting the Yearning of the Heart
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. 

Click here to read full article.

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“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 |
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

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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.

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“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 |
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.

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“Phyllis Bramson on Henry Darger,” essay at Painters on Paintings blog

This in-depth essay delves into Bramson's interest in Henry Darger and how the work, “satisfies my other requirement for art; that the work communicate to the viewer the immediacy and the rich worlds of one’s interior life.”

Click to read more, Painters on Painting.

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

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

Click here to view catalogue.

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“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 |
February 27–April 4, 2015

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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.

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“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.

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US Edition, The Wall Street Journal • September 14, 2013
REVIEW: 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

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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 |

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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.

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Chicago Gallery News • August–December 2011
Do Chicago Collectors overlook Chicago Art?
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.”

Click here to read full article.


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,

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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.”

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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 |
January 29–May 29, 2011

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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,


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.