Phyllis Bramson

Dart Gallery

Phyllis Bramson’s recent paintings are impetuous and risky, willfully skirting the edge of visual glut. Her allegorical images hover between the personal or diaristic and the social or public—between expressive and communicative imagery. Her work is driven by her consciousness of the halting and inchoate nature of figural language. There is frenzy and fury in this dilemma; in titling her exhibition “Vicissitude,” Bramson acknowledges the swirling ambiguities of her problematic.

The six large paintings dominating this show use identical sizes and formats but still manage to provide a plethora of choices. Each square central image is surrounded by a rather wide border, largely comprised of anonymous cut-up paintings that Bramson finds in thrift shops around Chicago. These endlessly repeated images of clowns, schooner seascapes, vases of flowers, ballerinas, still lifes, oriental fantasies,

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