On view this month at Petzel Gallery, artist Joe Bradley touches down for a show of new works that underscore the artist’s continued evolution and exploration of a certain type of wide-eyed abstraction, balancing color, stroke and structure through a range of vivid fields of paint. Marking his first solo show with the gallery since leaving Gagosian last year, Bhoga Marga, roughly translated from Sanskirt as “the enduring path of experience,” showcases the artist’ on a new plane of gesture and composition here.
Those familiar with past bodies of work will no doubt find shared space with much of Bradley’s oeuvre here. There’s the trademark swaths of paint, canvases coated with roughshod coats of oil that bear the marks of wide brushes and scrapers, and the artist’s careful use of color as a negotiation with space. Yet this new body of works equally takes on a series of investigations not often seen in Bradley’s earlier bodies of work. Geometry continues to move to the forefront of his works, and the balances of color have become increasingly considered, matched with embellishments and adornments that speak to his increasing interest in filling space, rather than just playing with. He blends color by layer, and while his unwillingness to bring closure to shapes and forms, the works here still manage to present as self-contained systems of line, point and plane, something the artist has long flirted with but rarely pursued in full.
At the more, however, remains a fascination with process, and the show is appropriately titled. Almost as if the works were made up as the artist went along, this lack of closure on forms and lines takes on a new, improvisational angle, reflecting an artist moving in and out of his trademark abilities, and deciding just how much, and just where, he wants to push them.
The artist’s work is on view through April 30th.
– D. Creahan
Joe Bradley: Bhoga Marga [Exhibition Site]