ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present BRADLEY WOOD: SCENES FROM A SOAP OPERA, new paintings by this acclaimed New York-based artist. The show runs November 4 to 26, 2016, with an opening reception on Friday, November 4, 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
Bradley Wood’s bold figurative paintings proffer tantalizing mysteries. Intriguing individuals lounge languidly amidst highly decorative surroundings, all rendered with a painterliness that hovers between form and disintegration. While Wood peppers his paintings with dashes of early modernist references — the richly patterned interiors of Matisse, the colours of the Fauves, the distortions of Ludwig Kirchner and the swirling brushwork of Chaim Soutine spring to mind — his cast of characters is soundly rooted in contemporary life.
Likening his process to that of a film director, Wood casts a wide net when seeking inspiration for his cast of characters and their mise en scènes. A figure may feature “an interesting nose or a hat I saw in a storefront window, legs from a fashion magazine or the gaze of a 17th century painting.”
Settings are inspired by a similarly diverse array of sources, ranging from Italian and French vintage porn films to design magazines to real life. “I heard recently that Fellini would start a film by putting up images of people and things on wall by his office desk,” says Wood. “This is very much how I begin my own work and draw inspiration for the stories I want to tell.”
Such references are blended then strained through Wood’s unique vision, emerging delightfully askew. Carpets slide down the picture plane, recalling the raking perspectives of German Expressionism. Legs that seem to go on forever underscore the overall sense of an image on the verge of a meltdown. Deeply engaged with oil paint’s viscosity, Wood uses his fingers as well as brushes, and that “hands-on” quality gives these paintings a deeply distinctive touch. The world as painted by Bradley Wood is a beautifully singular place.
Born in Regina Saskatchewan, Bradley has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, studied art and design at the Art Center in Montreux, Switzerland, and new media and installation at CalArts in Valencia, California. This past year he was part of the following group shows: “Human Condition,” a site-specific exhibition in an abandoned hospital in Los Angeles, Art Southampton and Context in Miami. He also had a solo show at Pulse Art Fair in NYC, where he was a Pulse Prize nominee. In addition to his second solo show with Angell gallery this November, Bradley will be doing another solo exhibition at Pulse Miami this December, where he’s been nominated for his second Pulse Prize.