Robert Branaman is a native of Wichita Kansas, he attended Wichita State University and left Kansas in the late fifties to join other Artists known as“ The Wichita Vortex” including the poets Michael McClure, Charles Plymell, William Burroughs, publisher Dave Hazelwood, artist Bruce Conner and filmmaker Stan Brakhage.
Thomas Albright in his book Art in the San Francisco Bay Area 1945-1980, describes Robert Branaman as “Painter, sculptor, filmmaker…His paintings of the 60’s were big, tangled, energetic abstractions. Branaman also worked on an environmental scale, painting the walls and ceilings of entire rooms and Branaman worked with Bruce Conner on films in the l950’s and later turned unceasingly to his own personal film making, recording his surroundings and friends in a style that emphasized multiple images, abstract light, and rapid cutting.”
Branaman was part of group of well known artists who exhibited at the historic Batman Gallery in the mid 1960’s, he had two solo shows there, a two man show with artist George Herms and just recently had a show at MOCA, Xenophilla. Branaman has shown art and films around the world.
Commenting on his solo show at San Francisco’s Batman Gallery, Dean Wallace of the Chronicle 1964; said, “Take a mad genius with brushes and canvas, place him in the mythical not-yet world of William Blake, multiply him by a hundred, and you get some idea of the paintings and drawings of Robert Branaman”.
“The realms of experience open to the theoretical physicist, the depth psychiatrist, the mystic-religious thinker, are also available to the painter and through him to us. Only a few geniuses like Branaman know these realms. Only a few artists have the talent and courage to reveal through the soul what others are more willing to reveal through the head.” Eleanor Wygod, Art Historian.