HALF GALLERY





While interviewing Joe Bradley a few years ago he explained to me the origin of his modular paintings (a series that sometimes gets referred to as his "robots"). Initially, Joe had painted numerous rectangular monochromes the size of a human head, but the first few people he showed them to could not make this connection. Joe then started adding shoulders and torsos and limbs. While that's not what Joe ultimately has given half gallery for “Intimate Paintings” the anecdote does get one thinking about different forms of intimacy; be it scale or the body or a shared understanding. The piece Joe has included for this exhibition is a camouflage painting from 2004 on loan from the private collection of his friend and fellow artist Michael Williams. I like that it's a completely unexpected subject matter from Joe; and that the painting speaks to the intimacy of possession.

Does an artwork change, or at least the perception around it change, simply because of who owns the work? This question brings us to another cornerstone of our show, namely, the small Jackson Pollock drip painting which previously belonged to Mercedes Matter (a pal of Pollock's) and then later to Richard Prince (who created a show about Pollock at Guild Hall in East Hampton in 2011).

I'm not interested in teasing out every thread for the viewer, and yet a few more examples feel pertinent to point out here: a new Math Bass painting speaks to the intimacy of a coded language, the 2006 Dana Schutz painting of a peeping tom feels like a direct link to the voyeur and a classic Richard Pettibone reminds us of the intimacy -- and distancing - inherent to appropriation.


-Bill Powers

















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