Immediately following his two simultaneous exhibitions at CANADA gallery and Gavin Brown Enterprise, the all-pervasive Joe Bradley crops up once again with a solo exhibition at The Journal Gallery. This exhibition of thirteen small drawings quietly accompanies his large-scale paintings on view at Gavin Brown and CANADA earlier this month, and provides a subtle glimpse at the artistic process behind Bradley’s larger work. Ranging from the purely abstract to the purely absurd, the drawings in this exhibition feature suggestive profiles, curious lines, and pseudo-juvenile pictography that is characteristic of Bradley’s oeuvre.
More text and images after the jump…
Materials such as receipts, envelopes, and scratch paper serve as the ground for Bradley’s heavy handed, unapologetic mark-making. And while Bradley’s work has been criticized as everything between “slacker art” to “durrrr,” there’s no denying his obvious appeal to collectors, curators, and gallerists. Not only did both of his previous exhibitions completely sell out, but Joe Bradley also has reportedly experienced a marked increase in sales over the past five years.
Bradley’s direct, childlike approach to configuration is apparent in each work in the exhibition. Lines converge and intersect to summon up varied visual interpretations, reminiscent of early surrealism or the cartoonish abstraction of Philip Guston and Carrol Dunham. Upon close investigation, one notices the nuance of the artists hand, and the points at which imagination and investigation collide.
Bradley’s career has been characterized by radical change. From his monochromatic, post-color field robot paintings at the 2008 Whitney Bienniale, to the primal brutality of his drawing-painting hybrids at Gavin Brown, Bradley seems to be driven by his minds eye more than his market success.
Exhibition Page [The Journal Gallery]
Two Sides of Joe Bradley: Full Interview [Interview Magazine]
Artists profile [2008 Whitney Biennial]