Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents FOCUS: Katherine Bradford
Katherine Bradford is known for her vibrant palette, faux-naïf style, and eccentric compositions. Often built up over months and sometimes years, the surfaces of Bradford's paintings are textured, comprising multiple thin, semi-transparent coats of acrylic paint, with hints of pentimenti in the final compositions.
Her recent works revisit several of her favored motifs, such as ships and swimmers - traditional and enduring subjects seen throughout art history. Bradford's canvases, however, typically portray more ominous, and often improbable, atmospheres in comparison to the relative calm of James Abbott McNeill Whistler's ship paintings or Paul Cézanne's portraits of bathers, for example.
In her works, ocean liners collapse in the night sea, beachgoers and swimmers populate fearsome expanses such as ebbing waters and outer space, and sea monsters, as in Large Ocean Painting, 2016, rear their heads above a crowded ocean. Whether Bradford's paintings depict swimmers in raging tides or figures illogically floating in the cosmos, her work suggests humanity humbled by the vastness of nature.