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Exhibition Spotlight—Joe Bradley: Silkscreen Paintings

August 14, 2017

Joe Bradley (American, born 1975). Horses, 2017. Silkscreen ink on canvas, 38 1/16 x 43 1/16 inches (96.7 x 109.4 cm). Courtesy the artist and Gagosian. © 2017 Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley’s mid-career survey is currently on view at the Albright-Knox. On the blog, we’re taking a closer look at each of the artist’s diverse bodies of work from the past decade, including his silkscreen paintings.

Around 2010, Bradley began directly using the source materials for his drawings to make a series of silkscreen paintings that feature everything from the graphic arrangement of stars to running horses borrowed from an old high school yearbook, an image from the 1970s periodical Radical Therapy, and on and on. These works allowed the artist to translate the origins of his drawing practice to the scale, and ostensibly the importance, of painting—a process that continues his aspirations for the Schmagoo paintings.

He has often exhibited his silkscreens simultaneously with his heavily worked abstractions. This decision effectively insists that Bradley’s luscious, fleshy abstractions remain contextually near to the often unseemly comic material ricocheting around in his brain. Bradley’s graphic silkscreens may well be considered the artist’s pursuit of fun—a way to keep working in the face of the exhaustion endemic to his type of abstract painting.