“Access All Areas” at Bill Brady Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri is a solo exhibition of new paintings by Melbourne-based post-internet painter Ry David Bradley, a rising star of the Australian art scene with a rapidly developing international profile. Bradley’s exhibition at Bill Brady follows a sellout show with Melbourne gallerist Tristian Koenig in February and recent acquisitions of his work by the National Gallery of Victoria and the Proclaim Collection.
The exhibition continues his ongoing investigation into what he describes as “the relationship between images and paintings, particularly images that are derived from the network.” Taking internet-sourced images of landscapes as his point of departure, Bradley submits the images to a photoshop editing process and then prints them onto synthetic suede using a dye-transfer process. Once completed the material is cut and stretched like a conventional painting and the edges spray painted.
With “Access All Areas,” Bradley deftly and strategically navigates the contested space between the virtual and the physical to create works that offer an intriguing interpretation and translation of this complex territory. Bradley’s textural, ethereal, and mezmerizing paintings propose a unique viewing experience that dissolves the boundaries between the material and the immaterial while at the same time challenges perceptions of the figurative and the abstract.
To find out more about “Access All Areas,” BLOUIN ARTINFO got in touch with the artist and asked him a few questions
What do you want to express and convey to the viewer with the works in the exhibition?
The installation of paintings were behind a fence that meant that upon entering the gallery it may have seemed like they were only able to be viewed from behind it. During the opening people were talking through the fence. People asked me why and I wanted it to remain ambiguous, but a fence is inherently political. A division between public and private, online and offline, and so on. More than anything a lot of the landscape we see can often be bracketed by some kind of fence, and these were landscape paintings. Yet the paintings ascended well above its height, and it was possible to get there.
How does this new body of work continue and link in with the overarching nature, progression, and development of your practice?
For 10 years I have been seeking methods to translate the relationship between images and paintings, particularly images that are derived from the network. When I started the Painted Etc blog which quickly gained a large international following - it was also specifically about this negotiation. More than anything I have always attempted to make paintings that were, at least materially, only possible to make in the 21st century. Yet much of the content that is in them is historic, and with an eye to the past. A kind of novelty steeped in tradition, partially severed from, but still within formal reach.
Could you explain the process you use?
The landscapes were sourced from cinematic history accessed online, cut scenes where the landscape literally exists in the background. These are run through a filter used in machine vision to detect edges; basically it creates mathematical curves hence why there are no jagged edges or pixels in my work. Dyes are then heated at 200 degrees into the suede, becoming a gas that embeds in the textile. In person they have a kind of radiating effect that might return the content to a kind of painterly, dreamy state from its HD origins. I love painting from the early 20th Century, so this seemed like a way to do so in relative measures for these stages of the early 21st.
Ry David Bradley is represented by Tristian Koenig Gallery in Australia and Bill Brady Gallery in the USA . Upcoming exhibitions will be held at Brand New Gallery (Milan), FIAC (Paris), Artissima (Torino), ALAC (Los Angeles) including a forthcoming book published by Heavy Time in conjunction with Printed Matter (New York).