Painter Lisa Bradley creates extraordinarily evocative compositions that embrace both stillness and motion. With her signature reductive vocabulary of forms—elegant traceries and trajectories that move across the surface of her canvases—she depicts tremendous velocity. At the same time, the movement is stopped; the passage of time is frozen. These gestures are generally centered in the middle of her canvases, overlain with translucent pigment, often blues, greys, and blacks. The forms advance and recede simultaneously, gauzily atmospheric and tangibly painterly.
Bradley’s process is central to the meaning of her work. “When I paint, everything be[comes] clear. . . at a certain point one goes beyond emotion—everything fits, each stroke is right, perfect within itself.” Her paintings deliberately eschew literal description; instead, the artist attempts in her whorls and traceries to move into the viewer’s own consciousness. The intent becomes metaphysical. The paintings’ success is based upon this appeal to the unconscious, coupled with the immediacy and tactility of the brushwork.
Bradley’s early career was supported by dealer and mentor Betty Parsons, with whom she exhibited for many years, as well as by the famously avid collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. She has exhibited widely in galleries and museums around the world. Institutions holding her paintings include the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Frederick Weisman Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, among others. Publications such as Artforum, Arts Magazine, and D’Art International have covered her work, and critics including April Kingsley, Carter Ratcliff, and Townsend Ludington have written on it. Bradley was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and studied at Boston University. She has lived and worked in New York City since the mid-1970s.
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