Australian, born 1961
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
John Norman Mann Bequest Fund, 2020
synthetic polymer paint on canvas board
Gift of the artist, 2020
Stephen Bram’s practice has been characterised by precisely constructed paintings that typically consisted of hard-edged abstract shapes that defy their flatness to create dynamic ‘architectural’ spaces of great perspectival depth. Bram achieved this particular opticality through incorporating two, and sometimes three, perspectival points into the picture plane.
Bram’s long engagement with abstraction took, for him, a radical shift in a recent series of black and white paintings. They extend the ways in which Bram tests illusion, representation and the perception of viewers. Constructed through the accumulation of painterly dabs and dashes of black paint on a white ground, we are invited to freely associate the pictures with what might come to mind: landscapes, figures, architectural spaces or pure abstraction beyond any form of representation.