College Art Association

CAA News Today

Phyllis Bramson and Tony Tasset, two Chicago-based artists, will participate in CAA’s Annual Artists’ Interviews, hosted by ARTspace during the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. This session will be the fourteenth installment of the popular series, which features two major practicing artists in back-to-back interviews. The talks will be held on Friday, February 12, from 2:30 to 5:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Columbus GHIJ, Gold Level, East Tower.

The interviewers were selected by the artists: Lynne Warren, a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, will interview Bramson; and John Neff, a fellow Chicago-based artist, will speak with Tasset.

Phyllis Bramson

Phyllis Bramson is a painter whose works evoke a fairy-tale world of bright and engaging colors. Often burlesquelike and erotically charged, her images wander between a physical and mental existence that juxtaposes the nonsensical with the profoundly meaningful, mediating between the pleasure, trauma, and difficulty of being. She has recently taken a new direction with the creation of mixed-media scroll paintings.

Robert Berlind has written of her paintings in connection with a recent exhibition: “The combination of sensual allure and downright goofiness in [her] art conveys that slippage between the erotic sublime and the sometimes fumbling awkwardness of sexual desire. While her works are loaded with evocative pleasures for the eye and mind, they are also about beauty, which is to say not merely (however pleasurably) seductive.”1

Bramson received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Urbana and earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1973. She is professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and has been advising graduate students in the MFA Drawing and Painting Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2007.

In 2010, a two-person exhibition is planned for Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago. The Anitdote (the continued relevance of painting), curated by Bramson and Claire Oliver, will appear at Claire Oliver Gallery in New York, from January 21 to February 20, 2010. (The artist is represented by both Secrist and Oliver, as well as by Philip Slein Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.)

Tony Tasset

Tony Tasset’s conceptually based, visually engaging art is manifested in a variety of media, including sculpture (using bronze, steel, fiberglass, resin, and more), photography, film, video, and performance. With great humor and pathos, his work engages a wide range of topics, from the historical weight of modernism and postmodernism to the playful tensions of domestic life. Nature mediated through humanity is also expressed in recent sculptural works depicting mudpies, carved pumpkins, snowmen, and colorfully painted stones.

Trained as a painter and sculptor, Tasset received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1983 and earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. Currently a professor of art and design at the University of Illinois, Chicago, he has lived and worked in the city for more than fifteen years.

Solo exhibitions of Tasset’s work have taken place at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Leipzig, Germany (Gupta also represents him in Chicago); Feigen Contemporary in New York; and Christopher Grimes in Los Angeles. His work has been included in several recent traveling group shows, such as Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll since 1967, Into Me/Out of Me, and Situation Comedy: Humor in Recent Art.

Tasset was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Award in 2006 and has received awards from the Illinois Art Council, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.

1. Robert Berlind, “Phyllis Bramson at Little John Contemporary,” Art in America 89, no. 5 (May 2001).

Above photos:

Phyllis Bramson, Heat Seekers, 2008, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60 x 60 in. (artwork © Phyllis Bramson; photograph provided by the artist)

Tony Tasset, Snowman, 2008, bronze, resin, polystyrene foam, brass, epoxy, enamel, fiberglass, and galvanized steel, 85 x 48 x 30 in. (artwork © Tony Tasset; photograph provided by Kavi Gupta Gallery)

Filed under: Annual Conference