Brett DePalma

Born 1949
Hometown Lexington, KY
Lives and Works Nyack, NY
Education
MFA, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 1973
BFA, Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1972
BA, Vanderbilt University (Peabody College), Nashville, TN, 1970

Eli Broad Family Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

Disney World, Orlando, FL

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN

Health and Hospitals Corporation, Coney Island Hospital, New York, NY

Kunsthalle, Malmo, Sweden

Provident Bank, Nashville, TN

Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.

Standard Federal Financial Center, Detroit, MI

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN

U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

In Brett De Palma’s alternately humorous and emotionally charged paintings, the artist samples from history and pop culture in searing, electric color. De Palma took part in the vibrant downtown scene of New York during the 1980s, and as a result, his work visibly melds the principles of painting with punk aesthetics. “People, places, and things are the subjects of my art,” De Palma says in a statement on his website. “They need no explanation in order to exist; that would be like having to explain jazz. Ideas such as these are best apprehended in experiencing the thing in all of its inexplicability, much like a person's existence.” De Palma further describes his work as “anxious abstractions from the tension between the physical body interacting with the space it inhabits and the objects it encounters.” 


De Palma was born in 1949 in Lexington, Kentucky. He received a BA from Vanderbilt University in 1970 and a BFA from the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1972. In 1973, he earned his MFA from Tufts University, before moving to New York City in the 1980s, where he found work at Sperone Westwater Gallery and as an assistant to artist Red Grooms. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Eli Broad Family Foundation in Los Angeles, among others. 

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