William Bradley graduated with a Masters degree from Wimbledon College of the University of the Arts London in 2008, selling out his end of year show. He has since been selected for FutureMap 08 and the Catlin Art prize 2009 and 2011. His work is included in several major collections.
Bradley’s work is both abstract art and about abstract art. Viewing the idea of the pure abstract language as problematised by its lack of communication from artist to viewer, Bradley builds in a more communal language of references or quotes from abstract art history, from Abstract Expressionism and artists such as John Hoyland, Sandra Blow and Eduardo Chillida. William Bradley’s paintings distort art historical references deconstructing the role of abstraction in both modernism and contemporary art practice. Bradley defies previous notions of abstract art history by recycling past formulas from Abstract Expressionist artists such as Rothko, de Kooning and Motherwell. As Vincent Honoré, Director of the David Roberts Art Foundation, claims ‘William Bradley is a perverse Abstract Expressionist’.
The work looks at the painted depiction of painted codes, the new body looks increasingly to photoshop as a tool for the manipulation of these codes. Digitally modifying the scanned watercolours creates a new plan which moves yet another step away from the immediacy of the original authorial mark. The resultant painting may reference gestural marks or codes from the history of Abstraction but this is coloured by its digital pre-planning. Thus the gestural elements of the work are less about the intuitive use of paint and more a device concerned with the combining of source material and reference.