A mid-career exhibition of Chicago artist Phyllis Bramson, covering the years 1973-1986 and including more than 30 works. Over a 20-year period, and especially in her work of the past decade, Phyllis Bramson has developed a complete opus, which articulates an interior world of intricate emotional experience. 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. Bramson’s scenarios are presented within the metaphorical framework of the stage; Bramson as artist/actress/subject appears confronted and confrontational in the series of aggressive and vibrant scenes she presents. The paintings are given further intensity by the density of the composition and agitated brushwork.
In the Chicago tradition Bramson is related to both the older generation of Chicago figurative artists and the Imagists of the ’60s and ’70s. Bramson shares with the older generation of painters a purer more classical view of the figure. The artist’s flirtation with taboos and interests in the surreal connect her to the Imagists.