until 17.11. | #2258ARTatBerlin | Philipp Haverkampf Galerie currently shows the Solo Exhibition SUPERMAN RETURNS WITH SWIMMERS by the painter Katherine Bradford.
Bradford ‘s paintings have their roots in abstract, gestural painting. Little by little fguration found it’s way into her work. A current new aspect, is the size of her subjects; her work was formerly populated by mainly smaller fgures. Nowadays, larger shapes are often positioned prominently on the canvas. These fgures do hold the paintings‘ composition.The fgures themselves are striking patches of colour, which structure the image and merge it in unity: blazing magenta next to a night-sky blue, and warm yellow next to a burly red come together to embody fresh and spherical paintings.
Standing in the tradition of abstract expressionism and color feld painting, Bradford’s paintings, flled with fgures and set in motion, are reminiscent of works by Mark Rothko or Barnett Newman. They also evoke the light-fooded rooms of a James Turrell, brought to the screen, in which her protagonists capture the stage of the scene and perform peculiar choreographies. Radical self-empowerment, superhero(ines), compassion and social cohesion are the cornerstones that make up Bradford’s fantastical world. At the same time feelings of foreboding, isolation and loss are part of her lyrical and mysterious narratives as well. With a rare nonchalance, Bradford creates epic works of universal signifcance, and refects, with a refreshing openness, about the issues that haunt today’s society. Bradford presents blurred spaces, areas where explicit boundaries are not known. Most impressively, she creates works of otherworldly glow. She draws scenes of the night and wraps the world in light tulle, instead of plunging intoheavy darkness. Skies flled with stars shine like infnite ether and the fgures dressed in hero costumes glow fuorescently. Or is the source of the light hidden under water?
Exuberant and mercurial, Bradford’s faceless fgures appear at peace with their surroundings. As depicted in her work, Queen of Sleep, they heal eachother. Through her pink cape and gold breasts, healing energy is radiated towards the laying fgure. Or has help come too late? As seen in Distant Life Guard, the subjects take care of eachother, are holding hands and swimming in the Mid Summer Lake. These situations are still open open to interpretation. While they communicate lightness and joy, there remains a bitter, ominous connotation.
The scenes seem cryptic. As if there would be a conspiratorial reference to the fctional planet Krypton, the planet of origin of the science fction hero Superman. Because Krypton was destroyed by a natural disaster, Superman and his cousin Supergirl saved themselves on planet Earth, where they were adopted by the Kents. Although superman and supergirl look like ordinary people, as kryptonians they have superhuman power. Katherine Bradford believes in the power of painting.
Katherine Bradford was born in New York in 1942 and lives in Brooklyn, New York. The New York gallery, CANADA, is currently exhibiting her work for the second time. This exhibition, titled Katherine Bradford: Friends and Strangers has been celebrated by it’s audience as a great success.
Her work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, the Brooklyn Museum, the Sperone Westwater Gallery, the Portland Art Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, and the Addison Gallery of American Art. Bradford has received awards from the Joan Mitchell and Pollock Krasner Foundations. She received the Guggenheim Fellowship and is a two-time winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. She has taught at the Yale School of Art at New Haven, Connecticut as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Her work can be found in the following public collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Portland Museum of Art, Smith College Art Museum, Bowdoin University Museum of Art. After the frst presentation of a series of small-format Superman painitings in 2017, Philipp Haverkampf is pleased to present Katherine Bradford’s frst major solo show in Berlin SUPERMAN RETURNS WITH SWIMMERS.
Exhibition period: Thursday, 11th October – Saturday, 17th November 2018Zur Philipp Haverkampf Galerie
Image caption: Courtesy of Philipp Haverkampf Galerie – Katherine Bradford – Captains
Exhibition Katherine Bradford – Philipp Haverkampf Galerie | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin