Vom Abend, Joe Bradley at David Zwirner

A room with paintings on the wall

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Installation view, Joe Bradley: Vom Abend, David Zwirner, New York, 2024. Photo courtesy of the gallery

The ten paintings in Vom Abend, Joe Bradley’s current show at David Zwirner, measure up to 93 x 120 inches and are all dated 2023-2024.  They are big and, with one exception, are in landscape orientations.  Framed with white oak strips, they have stately feel, yet they are hardly genteel.  They are full of crusty skins of dry paint that seem randomly attached to the surfaces. They are creased and folded.  They reek of oil paint.  And while the color is buoyant, joyous even, they are also dark.  Bradley isn’t afraid of black, and he explores shit brown with an alarming gusto. There are passages where the paint seems to have been aggressively ripped off the surface of the canvas, only to be tenderly painted over again.  There are staccato stippling marks.  There is erasure and heavy impasto in stretches.  Although this may sound like the paintings are heavily labored and full of themselves, they aren’t. And careful examination reveals worlds to explore.

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