Phil Braham

+44 (0)1382 3852211
Lecturer

Biography

Philip Braham is an artist, researcher and lecturer whose longstanding interest in continental aesthetics informs his pedagogical role as Programme Director for Art & Philosophy at DJCAD. His paintings and photographs extend the Northern Romantic tradition in which landscape acts as a metaphor for the human condition. Fidelity to experience is fundamental to his practice, founded on the phenomenological philosophies of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Recent projects reflect on the temporal nature of our existence and the fragility and distinctiveness of one’s personal perspective. Phillip Bruno, retired director of Marlborough Gallery New York, described Braham’s recent landscape paintings as possessing a ‘settled serenity’ in their vision, a quality that runs counter to the fashion for anti-aestheticism in visual culture today.

Braham graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 1980, and completed his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Holland the following year. In 1982 he undertook a further year of research as visiting artist at the University of California at Los Angeles before returning to his native Scotland. In 1989 he joined the illustrious stable of Raab Gallery London/Berlin. His career includes 24 solo exhibitions and several curated group exhibitions of national and international significance, and his artworks are held in public, corporate and private collections worldwide. Among the awards received are the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy Guthrie Award for painting, and the Royal Scottish Academy Morton Award for lens-based work. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow, Raab Gallery Berlin, and at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.

Research outputs

'In Time and Silently'

Solo exhibition of 36 paintings at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 6 January – 3 February 2018. 68-page colour catalogue with introductory essay by Philip Braham, ISBN 978-1-910267-71-4.

3 paintings selected for Raab Galerie Berlin 40th Anniversary Exhibition; 18 August – 15 September 2018

'A Wind from the North'

Solo exhibition of 38 paintings at Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow, 29 October – 21 November 2016. A4 gatefold brochure with 12 reproductions and introductory text. ‘Dreaming Ophelia’ acquired by Perth Museum and Art Gallery.

6 paintings selected for Critic’s Choice 2016 exhibition at Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames, London, curated by Clare Henry. 4 – 27 February 2017.

Reviews: Jan Patience – Ghosts in the landscape; The Herald; 29/10/16: Full-page review with colour reproduction; Giles Sutherland – A Wind from the North at Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow; The Times; 8/11/16: 4-star review with colour reproduction.

‘Keeping Time’

Solo exhibition of 46 paintings at Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 8 January – 1 February 2014.
68-page catalogue; 45 colour reproductions; introductory text by the artist: ISBN 978-1-905146-87-1.

Reviews: Wall Street International magazine, 24/1/14. 4 colour reproductions and preview text.

Painting Itself (Out of a Corner)

Paper delivered to Hermeneutica Scotia conference, Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy, University of Dundee, 7 – 8 May 2015. Uploaded to Academia.edu in May 2015.

In David Joselit’s influential essay ‘Painting Beside Itself’ he examines the place of painting in a digital economy where the image of the artwork is disseminated globally, and its power (both politically and economically) is inflated correspondingly. He describes paintings that consciously engage with networks as ‘transitive’ in that they are submitted to infinite dislocations, fragmentations and degradations, escaping the modernist trap of reification. The centrifugal effect of the Internet on the dissemination, reception and marketing of the painting as image, in an age where images proliferate as never before, supersedes the significance of the painting as object.

In my paper I examine this claim with reference to Hegel’s definition of Art in relation to Spirit, to test Joselit’s proposition that art is now at its terminus. In defiance of the glossy, operatic, diaristic, ironic, satirical, primitive, psychedelic and anti-aesthetic imagery that has come to define our era, I call for a return to authenticity by fastening to the world in willful naivety, buoyed by Merleau-Ponty’s insistence on the primacy of phenomenology and ‘indirect ontology’ in ‘Eye and Mind’ and through a reappraisal of Michael Fried’s concepts of Absorption and Theatricality, to provide a centripetal balance that returns the object and the place of painting back to itself.