ARTIST:

Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas in seven parts
Overall dimensions approximately 205.7 x 68.6cm

Using minimalism for its associations with high modernism, as well as for its legacy in the form of Ikea reproducibility, Bradley’s canvases proudly assert their objecthood as well as their ‘easy assemble’ irony. His simplified painterly lexicon brings together associations of mass media: tv test patterns, arcade graphics, and commercial logos, under his own brand of ‘slacker’ aesthetic. Through his retro-futuristic style, Bradley critically pokes fun at the commodification of art while simultaneously addressing the possibilities of contemporary painting.

Joe Bradley
Wolf, 2006
Acrylic on canvas, in four parts
Overall dimensions approximately 233.7 x 73.7cm

Bradley seamlessly merges the disparate traditions of painting’s history and consumer graphics to develop abstracted ‘figures’ which are uncannily archetypal. In Wolf, four brown canvases marred with scatological splatters function as a reductive stand in for the ravenous and beastly. Paring down pictorial representation to its most diminutive form Bradley encapsulates the essence of character and narrative, raising the logo-istic shorthand of information transaction to the eminence of high art appreciation.

Joe Bradley
Mystery Boga, 2006
Acrylic on canvas, in four parts
Overall dimensions approximately 268 x 91 cm

In championing the abject, Bradley engages with the problems of painting itself. Each arrangement reveals the processes of theatricality and illusion, creating a sense of narrative and personal gesture through generic attributes of colour, line, shape, and composition. Behind their tongue in cheek parody, Bradley’s paintings resolve the detachment of hard edged abstraction with an affectionate intimacy; each work commands mediation through its understated integrity.

Joe Bradley
Trans (Alien), 2006
Acrylic on canvas, in five parts
Overall dimensions approximately 268 x 91 cm

Executed on cheap pre-fab canvases, and painted with intentional mediocrity, Bradley’s paintings are immediately sympathetic in their impoverished aesthetic. Towering with a commanding primitivism – alluding to both totems and obsolete computer graphics –
Bradley’s works transact on the transcendent spiritualism of monochrome painting, instead offering a brazen contemplation of unabashed dumbness.

Joe Bradley
Untitled, 2006
Acrylic on canvas in seven parts
Overall dimensions approximately 267 x 198 cm

Joe Bradley’s work reconfigures the daunting spectrum of minimalist painting with an endearing sense of humility and pathos. Arranging his canvases in the shapes of absurd and clunky figures, Bradley subverts the subtle grids of Ad Reinhardt and the pantone hued planes of Ellsworth Kelly, infusing traditional formalism with cartoon humour. Through this merger of abstraction and figuration, Bradley embraces equally the non-objective ideals of 70s art and a contemporary humanist approach to high culture.
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