For 57 years, Phillip A. Bruno was a key figure in the New York art world, working in historic galleries along Madison Avenue and 57th Street like Borgenicht 1951, World House 1957, Staempfli 1960 – 89, then as a director of Marlborough Gallery, NY till 2007.
Born in Paris in 1930, he studied art at Columbia under Meyer Schapiro. He met Matisse, Giacometti, and Brancusi in Paris in the 1950s and got to know the Van Gogh family, staying with them in Laren, Holland.
Phillip organised his first exhibition of the Mexican artist Jose Cuevas for the Parisian Loeb Gallery in 1955 and later drove the brilliant Louise Nevelson across America. He worked closely with Milton Avery, Bertoia, George Rickey, Alex Katz, Red Grooms, Manolo Valdes, Richard Estes and many others. His lifelong career centered around working with living artists and placing significant paintings and sculptures in important private collections. Manhattan is a truly international art centre, and while many of the artists Bruno dealt with were New Yorkers, he also had a special interest in European, primitive and oceanic art, as well as artists from the West Coast of the USA.
His Gift to Glasgow in 2019 totaled over 70 works, featuring American artists such as William Dole, Lee Gatch, Red Grooms, David Levine, Leroy Lamis, Robert Andrew Parker and Tom Otterness, as well as international figures such as the Mexican painter José Luis Cuevas and the Japanese sculptor Masayuki Nagare. The Hunterian, one of the world’s leading University museums and one of Scotland’s most significant cultural assets, will display the collection.
Bruno loved Scotland. He married art critic Clare Henry in 2002. Phillip led a remarkable, eventful life and died peacefully on September 22nd, aged 93.
TOP: DRAWING OF PHILLIP A BRUNO 1992 BY NANCY LAWTON INSET: PHILLIP IN PARIS AGED 25