Joe Bradley, serious, skilled...but again
Max Bushman writes
Bradley has found a new technique to affect his compositions. His paintings have been cut to pieces and then stitched back to non-matching parts of other works, creating incongruous arrangements. The subjects represented in the images are also more recognizable: using stars, circles, spirals, triangles and other basic objects with a loud palette, the works become less about pure abstraction and enter into a more focused, primitive meditation on figuration itself. However, from this development, a subtle humor is also apparent. While the shapes are childish, Bradley’s compositions have a marked seriousness.Howard Halle reviewed the show for TimeOut New York and writes
Despite their evocation of New York School angst, or the very obvious (one might say too obvious) presence of the artist’s hand, they don’t really connect to anything beyond their own making. It’s not formalism or process art, exactly, but again, a deliberate elision of signification as an end in itself.
Ordinarily, something like that would bug me, but Bradley makes the act of painting himself into a blind alley riveting—he is that skilled. What would be even more fascinating, though, is to watch him get past the wink and the nod, to try and genuinely move us, if he gives a shit. And that remains a really big if.