For Joe Bradley, art history is a vast library of gestures and attitudes ripe for rediscovery, and throughout his wide-ranging career he has consistently engaged with the ideas and practices of his predecessors. His diverse body of work encompasses classically inflected abstractions, such as Good World, alongside more expressionistic canvases that record the detritus and spontaneity of the studio environment, prints inspired by the linework found in zines, stenographic grease-pencil drawings on drop cloth, and reimaginings of amateur sculpture.
Good World’s parallel planes of black and yellow are deceptively simple. Close examination reveals that the canvas has been painted on both sides, torn, cut, added to, crumpled, and layered. In the upper-left corner, a small flap hints at the cutting and sewing that went into making this work. Here and elsewhere in the painting, yellow, red, and blue (interrupted only by a strategic pink smudge) battle for dominance.