ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present a solo exhibition featuring recent paintings by one of Canada’s most significant abstract painters, BRADLEY HARMS: VORTEX. The show runs in the west gallery from March 27 to April 25, 2015. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artist during the reception on Friday March 27th, 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
“There is no single entry point into a Bradley Harms painting. One doesn't enter the work, they are overtaken by it. Like a brilliant sun-flare or punch to the face.” Sunshine Frère
Engaged with both painting’s storied past and its complicated present, Bradley Harms is a significant player in the reconfiguration of abstraction for the postmodern era. Like such international figures as Sarah Morris, Tomma Abts and Peter Halley, Harms takes early modernist geometric abstraction as a jumping off point. But where he lands is far from the rigorous purism of Malevich, Mondrian and Kandinsky, who saw their work as metaphors for universal ideals that rose above the materialism of the machine age. Rather, Harms revels in the contrast between digitally driven perfection and the fallibility of humankind. Lines wobble, grids go off course and networks expand beyond the confines of the canvas, suggesting the uncontainable chaos of the universe.
In Harms’s Torqued Vortex series, the artist sets the Greek key motif on edge, transforming this standby of classical design into vibrating pinwheels of energy. In the Simple Ex series, the utopian ideals of 20th century movements are brought down to earth, as the wavering hand of the artist replaces the straight edge of the ruler. Off-kilter rectangles of bold colour are bound by imperfect striped borders and criss-crossed by wiry “x” shapes. In a painting of vibrating Op Art style lines a diligent viewer can read the text “# Avant Facebook High Instagram Post Twitter Mid Pornhub No Stijl”, a mash-up that signals the work’s roots in the 21st century.
Dazzling, vibrant, energizing….the paintings of Bradley Harms cannot be ignored. But beneath the boisterous beckoning, there sounds a gentler note. “Even though they are bombastic and visually domineering, these paintings will always subtly reveal this delicate humanity and touch,” says Harms.
Bradley Harms received his BFA from University of Calgary and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Barcelona, Munich, St Petersburg, Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo. In the past two years Harms has had solo shows at the Windsor Gallery, Angell Gallery in Toronto and Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art in Calgary, and has been in numerous group exhibitions, including the prestigious annual Small is Beautiful show at Flowers Gallery in New York, and the highly regarded Kim Dorland curated I ♥ Paint show at Angell. His work is in the collections of the Glenbow Museum, TD Bank, the Bank of Montreal and the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and many more.