Powers and Lowenfels present, "Selections From The Peter Brams Collection of American Folk & Outsider Art."

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • September 08, 2021

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Installation view with Walter Dahn / George Condo Clown and stone sculpture.
Steven S. Powers

Steven S. Powers & Joshua Lowenfels kick off the fall art season with works selected from the inveterate collector, Peter Brams.

Peter Brams has been a collector all his life. A voracious collector! In the 1980s, while still in his thirties, he was ahead of the curve collecting works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gilbert & George, Carl Andre, and Philip Taaffe. By the late 80s, Brams engaged in the works of William Edmondson, William Hawkins, and Sam Doyle.

In the early 90s, Brams had the courage and gumption to dive fully into American Folk Art and seek anonymous works. He felt great art needn't have a name attached to it—just the eye of a confident collector.

Installation view with Dousa painting and Folk Art Scarecrow
Steven S. Powers

During this decade, he vacuumed up left-of-center 19th-century folk art and created a legendary collection (later sold at auction in 2001). Its scope was broad in one sense and highly targeted in another. Brams' openness and knowledge of art history enabled him to see beyond the conventional and appreciate objects often challenging and sometimes overlooked by more mainstream collectors. Everything he acquired had a particular quality of vision, execution, and historic surface.

What Brams learned through antique art was that time could impart its stamp on a maker's work and often improve it. With patination from use, age, and often exposure to the elements, time could enhance the integrity of the surface—make it complex and richer beyond its original state. This obsession with surface and an economy of line led Brams to form an important collection of Woodlands Indian Art.

Since selling his Woodlands collection ten years ago, Brams has revisited his love of American folk sculpture and painting.

The selections chosen for the Powers & Lowenfels exhibition reflect this return focusing on the human form encompassing works in stone, wood, concrete, and mixed media and will be integrated with choice examples from the Powers & Lowenfels inventory.

The Steven S. Powers and Joshua Lowenfels Gallery is located at 53 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002. and the exhibition runs from September 9 - October 17, 2021.

Steve Powers

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