Since making his debut in New York in the early 2000s, Joe Bradley has developed a mutable visual style through paintings, drawings and sculptures, that bridges the art historical canon with popular culture and personal experiences. While art history is an undercurrent in Bradley’s oeuvre, his awareness of these influences frees him to make them his own.
For his new exhibition, Bradley will present a large group of recent paintings and works on paper. Painted on the floor, his large gestural works challenge the legacy of Abstract Expressionism and record the detritus and history
of the studio, resulting in radiant and layered paintings that evoke a wealth of associations. Executed in pencil, pen, or marker, the new drawings often suggest the framing logic of comic strips while refusing any narrative structure inherent to the genre. These spontaneous compositions feature figures, text and abstractions uncovered from Bradley’s imaginative reference library of jokes and enigmas.
Joe Bradley (b. 1975, Kittery, Maine, US) lives and works in New York. He trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and first exhibited in New York in 2003. The artist was given a solo show at MoMA PS1 three years later. Bradley was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and The Forever Now,
a landmark exhibition of contemporary painting at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Joe Bradley, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (2017); Joe Bradley, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2017); Château de Boisgeloup, Gisors, France (2017); Bozar / Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2017) and Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2014). His work is held in the following collections, among others: Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
I have this idea that there’s something suspicious about painting
— I think that’s part of it. A sculpture isn’t pretending to be anything other than a sculpture — a painting asks you to suspend disbelief,
there’s an expectation of an illusion that you’re being treated to.
I guess I like to drive home the fact that it’s a thing, made out of cloth and paint.
— Joe Bradley
I don’t want the viewer to get lost in the nuances of colour.
The palette skews towards iconic — the sort of colours you might see in a flag. When you look at a comic book, there are no more than eight colours — they register, but it’s not something that’s occupying too much space in your head.
— Joe Bradley
I think it’s interesting when an abstract painter doesn’t have an orthodox
approach to abstract painting. The first person that pops into my head is de Kooning.
He was so fluid, in the sense that he seems so comfortable incorporating the figure,
and then losing the figure — he’s certainly someone that I’ve thought a lot about over the years.
— Joe Bradley