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 Mark Adams Bryce  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: cultural images, narrative

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Mark Adams Bryce
An example of work by Mark Adams Bryce
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography, submitted January 2005, has been provided by Christine Jones with assistance from the artist, Mark Bryce
Mark Bryce, a career artist for thirty years, is a realist painter whose work is derived from the formal traditions of American Painting. Born in San Francisco in 1953, the son of artistic, intellectual parents, Mark Bryce was surrounded by the visual and performing arts from an early age. He studied at the Philadelphia College of Art and then in the fall of 1972, entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Art for a four-year course of study whose curriculum included cast and life drawing and materials and techniques of classical painting. HIs teachers were Ben Kamahira, Arthur Decosta, Walter Steumpfig and Julian Levy.

Early in his career Mark Bryce experimented with the effects of light and treatment of composition. Living in West Chester, Pennsylvania, he won a group of prizes and at age 23 was offered an exhibition at a Philadelphia Gallery, which then represented him for the next twelve years. At that time, Bryce pursued a cool, crisp-somewhat photographic style of painting, rebelling against the open brush-work traditions of the Academy. Urban scenes imbued with a rather narrative social perspective were among his earliest subject matter.

From the early eighties, Bryce's work moved into a softer more ethereal realm with paintings that were spare and mystically iconic. At this time, he also began to investigate dichotomous perceptions of reality, and much of this work was linked to his study of meditation and metaphysics.

From the early to mid eighties his work became softer and less cool with technique that was open and less constrained, yet detailed, and generally painted in a progressively layered technique grounded in 17th century Dutch painting. Yet the influences of the Academy and the 19th century American tradition remain evident.

In the early eighties, Mark Bryce was influenced by the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania group of painters, centered around the Wyeth family. However, Bryce decided to return to San Francisco, an area he especially loved for the ocean and misty fog.
At this time he exhibited both in California and New York with various galleries and had a solo show in the Chelsea area of New York City

In the 1990s, with increasing introspection, Mark Bryce created personal narrative works with psychological and spiritual overtones. He became more interested in realism and addressing basic issues about life in America and the manner in which America relates to itself and the world at large.

The most recent work of Mark Bryce is based in this narrative tradition, using elements of art history and addresses cultural values, and the challenges of personal integrity, spiritual and otherwise in a high speed, digital, materialist consumer marketplace seemingly steering out of control.

"Mind," interview, Japanese Sports World, Tokyo, Japan, summer issue, 1994

"Local Color," San Francisco, The Magazine of Design and Style, California, July, 1991

"Arts Watch," Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens Publications, June, 1991

"All About Art," American Artist, Fall, 1990

"Many Talents Are Evident In Groups Shows Uptown At the Allan Stone Gallery" Art Speak, New York, review by Joseph Merkel, 1989

"Two Philadelphia Painters," Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Quarterly, Spring, 1985

"Still Life Paintings by Mark Adams Bryce," essay by Diane Brandt Stillman, Curator of Education, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, 1983

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Cigna Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Print Archive, Rutgers University, New Jersey

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