Peter Bradley

Karma
22 East 2nd Street
New York
East Village
Oct 7th 2021 — Nov 13th 2021

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“The object is to bring first-rate art to people who don’t usually attend shows,” Peter Bradley appealed to artists while organizing “The De Luxe show” (1971) in Houston, touted by many as the first racially integrated exhibition in the U.S. “It will be of easy access to housewives, children, laborers; the people.” Bradley was a pioneer in more ways than this. He was prescient in using acrylic gel paint in the sixties, then a new medium. In his second exhibition at Karma, he continues to employ the material within recent microbial and watery paintings.

In these large-scale works, which bear lines of different media, including acrylic, sand and glass, Bradley employs a wet-canvas technique wherein he pours pigments onto unstretched, damp canvas. His images describe depths, delineating phantom, watery spaces flecked with movement and collisions. Scrapple From The Apple (2021) mushrooms out from twin nexuses, with a texture both glassy and deep, like the iris of an eye. This is offset by splatters of what looks like wax or encaustic, interrupting the seep of paint. Elsewhere, washes both liquid and thick are interrupted by clusters of fluorescent roe or globs of earwax-like material that have slipped from their original locations, threatening to fall off the canvases entirely.

The work’s titles provide insight into the universe of the mind that created these works. Many titles are influenced by jazz and allude, perhaps, to the irregularly rhythmic gestures within these paintings. Catch It Willie (2015) references Major League Baseball player Willie Mays’s infamous over-the-shoulder catch from nearly a half century before. The plane of the canvas captures the moment of impact: a shadowy, violet form in the background meets an explosion of neon green-and-orange splinters of paint. —Lisa Yin Zhang

Peter Bradley, Coravilas, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 77 × 131 inches.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 22nd

    Exhibited with melodic sight-lines, Mary Manning’s “Ambient Music” hums with the background noise of the subconscious.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.

  • Through
    May 23rd

    Full of whimsy and delight, Fernanda Laguna’s work in “The Path of the Heart” cuts an incisive critique of sociopolitical issues in Latin America.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.