I think that painting relates very neatly to inner travel and the exploration of inner worlds. With painting, I always get the impression that you’re sort of entering into a shared space. There’s everyone who’s painted in the past, and everyone who is painting in the present.
In his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and mixed-media works, Joe Bradley has produced a visual language that oscillates freely between personal and art historical references. Constantly reinventing himself, he cycles through some of the most iconic modes of abstraction, investigating Minimalist questions of color and form, tapping into the spontaneous gesture of Abstract Expressionism, and creating cryptic signs and symbols in ingenious, lively drawings.
Bradley earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1999 and had his first gallery show in New York in 2003. Just three years later he had his first solo exhibition at MoMA PS1, which included boldly painted monochromatic canvases arranged in geometric formations. These modular paintings investigate the ways that colors exist in relation to each other and to negative space, while subtly evoking architectural structures and human or robotic figures. In recent works Bradley paints fragments of unprimed canvas on the floor, collecting studio debris in swaths of color. Imbuing abstraction with a tactile immediacy, he applies the oil paint in thick layers to create captivating, tessellated compositions.
In his drawing practice Bradley uses such unorthodox materials as cardboard scraps, loose paper, and even sticky notes. While artistic precedents appear to be among his works’ influences and inspirations, they never settle into certainty. In many ways Bradley holds a mirror up to the art world itself, finding humor in the ever-shifting trends and traditions of recent art history. One aspect of his practice that remains constant is his emphasis on process: the intuitive motions of the artist’s hand, as well as the effects of material, memory, and environment. For his Schmagoo Paintings (2008), Bradley drew invented symbols and doodles with grease pencil on raw canvas, presenting lighthearted subject matter with a direct, gestural confidence. Though vaguely familiar—recalling children’s drawings, comic book sketches, cave paintings, and ideograms—the images are devoid of specific meaning, exploring the very implications of the creative act.
October 3–December 15, 2018
Grosvenor Hill, London
May 8–July 28, 2018
February 23–April 8, 2017
Forty Four Drawings
December 27, 2016–January 31, 2017
Eden Rock—St. Barths
April 2–May 3, 2016
980 Madison Avenue, New York
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2018
The Winter 2018 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available. Our cover this issue comes from High Times, a new body of work by Richard Prince.
A Conversation with Joe Bradley
Joe Bradley talks with Carroll Dunham on the occasion of his first mid-career survey in the United States.
Lauren Mahony reflects on the themes and artworks presented in the artist’s mid-career survey at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées
Opening reception: Saturday, October 12, 6:30–8pm
October 12–20, 2019
Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris
In celebration of FIAC in Paris, Gagosian is pleased to collaborate with Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées on a two-floor pop-up takeover featuring products related to Gagosian artists. On the first floor, the Coin Culture section will feature catalogues, posters, apparel, and audio productions. The second floor, the Library, will house an additional selection of limited-edition books, publications, and catalogues raisonnés.
Gagosian at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, Paris
Benefit Auction + Party 2019
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 6:30–9:30pm
Drawing Center, New York
The Drawing Center’s annual Benefit Auction + Party takes place on Thursday, September 19, with an evening of music and cocktails, and a silent auction featuring works generously donated by over forty leading artists, including Joe Bradley, John Currin, Rudolf Stingel, and Mary Weatherford. Funds raised through this event provide crucial support for the Drawing Center’s ambitious roster of exhibitions, publications, education initiatives, and public programs. To attend the event, purchase tickets at www.drawingcenter.org.
John Currin, Untitled, 2015 © John Currin
Art Basel 2019
June 13–16, 2019, booth C9
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel, presenting works by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Ellen Gallagher, Alberto Giacometti, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Albert Oehlen, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West, among others.
Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons
Joe Bradley, Oscar Tuazon, Michael Williams
May 14–September 18, 2018
Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut
The Brant Foundation’s spring exhibition will feature work by Joe Bradley, Oscar Tuazon, and Michael Williams.
Joe Bradley, JJ Ram, 2018 © Joe Bradley
October 15, 2017–January 28, 2018
Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts
This is the first large-scale museum exhibition in North America devoted to the work of Joe Bradley. Included are his expressionistic canvases that record the detritus and spontaneity of the studio environment; subtly figurative send-ups of Minimalist painting; starkly primitive glyphs drawn in grease pencil on unprimed canvas and related drawings on paper; graphic silkscreen paintings; and modular Minimalist aluminum sculptures that Bradley pairs with textual directives. The exhibition traveled from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.
Joe Bradley, Bishop, 2016
May 14–October 1, 2017
Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut
Animal Farm is a group exhibition curated by artist and musician Sadie Laska. A selection of works sketch a story that slides from figurative iconography to totemic abstraction, charting a world in churn; in print, in space, and on canvas. The show includes work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Joe Bradley.
Joe Bradley, Pigpen (#2), 2010
June 24–October 1, 2017
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
This is the first large-scale museum exhibition in North America devoted to the work of Joe Bradley. Included are his expressionistic canvases that record the detritus and spontaneity of the studio environment; subtly figurative send-ups of Minimalist painting; starkly primitive glyphs drawn in grease pencil on unprimed canvas and related drawings on paper; graphic silkscreen paintings; and modular Minimalist aluminum sculptures that Bradley pairs with textual directives.
Joe Bradley, Good World, 2017