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Published on March 07, 2022

Bruce Samuelson

Bruce Samuelson’s process appears to fuse time and motion. Classically educated and dedicated to the figurative tradition, the artist’s drawings nevertheless transcend narrative mimesis in a melding of art and physics. Not simply isolated representations of the human form, Samuelson’s drawings are both an analysis and synthesis of all possible perspectives occupying a space where past, present and future exist simultaneously in a single eternal moment. Forms emerge from a flurry of marks only to submerge back into a turbulent sea, awash in waves of line, shape and tones, flickering with light and shadow.

Bruce Samuelson, Untitled, 2014, 19 x 24in, pastel and charcoal on ragboard

Artist’s Bio

Bruce Samuelson was born in Philadelphia and was educated at PAFA. He has taught painting and drawing at PAFA since 1973.

 Samuelson has exhibited in over thirty one-person exhibitions. His paintings and drawings are represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Chapel Art Center, Saint Anselm College, Manchester NH; the Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, NY; the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, PA; PAFA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia; and the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK. He is currently represented by the J. Cacciola Gallery, New York.

 He has received many awards including the PAFA and Fellowship Purchase Prize and the Percy M. Owens Memorial Award for a Distinguished Pennsylvania Artist, Fellowship of PAFA.          

 Samuelson teaches courses in Advanced Drawing and Painting in the Undergraduate Program at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  He is also a Critic in the Undergraduate Program.

Artist’s Statement

My work begins less with calculation than with chaos, and develops an organic structure more by chance than through calibration. My work has affinities with the figurative work of Michelangelo, Goya, Rembrandt, de Kooning, Le Brun and Bacon. My work has a philosophic base: I seek an intrinsic quality in the material I use. I think of the visible, physical world as a guide to the as yet unseen, metaphysical one.

https://www.pafa.org/staff/bruce-samuelson