In her childhood home, Bramson was surrounded by collections and mishmashes of high and low. Kitsch was juxtaposed with assorted objects such as Asian female figurines, paintings, and Oriental wallpaper. The artist’s visual roots have been a continuous presence in her work, while also employing narration and inspiration from Chinese Pleasure Gardens as well as Indian miniatures, paintings by Fragonard, Boucher, and Henry Darger. Bramson engages in abstraction and collage combined with figuration, co-mingling folly with value-infused feelings about the human condition. Balancing delicately between the humorous and somewhat disturbing, her work offers a glimpse into the depictions of playful eccentric spaces and the "bawdy banal".
Phyllis Bramson is a recipient of three National Endowments, Senior Fulbright Scholar, Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Grant, School of Art + Design at University of Illinois at Urbana “distinguished alumni award; “Distinguished Artist 2012” by the Union League Club of Chicago, and was selected as one of the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Awardees for 2014. Phyllis Bramson has been in over forty one-person exhibitions including: The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, New York, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois, Boulder Art Museum, Boulder, Colorado, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (mid-career survey), Claire Oliver Gallery, New York, New York, Philip Slein Gallery, St Louis, Missouri, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois. She has been included in countless group exhibitions in museums around the United States and her work hangs in numerous private and public collections. In 2015-2017 Bramson has been exhibiting a traveling thirty-year survey at the Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Illinois, the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois, and Herron Galleries at Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bramson lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She is Professor Emeritus from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and currently advises graduate students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bramson received her BFA from the University of Illinois and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bramson is currently represented by Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and Littlejohn Contemporary in New York, New York. This is her fifth solo exhibition with Littlejohn Contemporary.