My paintings build upon the history of abstraction, shining the flickering light of contemporary life upon them to create objects that are at once forward looking and reflective of the speed at which our culture currently moves.
For the past number of years, Canadian painter Bradley Harms has been on the front lines of the new wave of Canadian abstraction. Building upon traditions within the medium, all the while creating work that both reflects and critiques contemporary social and technological developments, Harms’ artwork addresses the manner in which we perceive painting. He manipulates the ideas of surface, form, and as such, our notion of perfection.
Bradley Harms received his BFA from the University of Calgary and his Masters of Fine Arts from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Harms has exhibited extensively throughout Canada, as well as on the international stage, including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Munich, Sydney, Singapore, and Tokyo. Additionally, his artwork has been exhibited throughout North America and Europe, and can be found in many public collections such as the Canada Council’s Art Bank (Ottawa, ON), Alberta Foundation for the Arts (Edmonton, AB), the Nickle Arts Museum (Calgary, AB), University of Western Sydney (Sydney, Australia), Foreign Affairs + International Trade Canada (Ottawa, ON) and Glenbow Museum (Calgary, AB), to name a few.
Harms’ paintings continue to explore painting as a tool with which to address contemporary experience. Very close attention is paid to the material aspect of painting, which exudes a sense of technological awareness. As a result, the paintings are contemporary objects with seams and edges that are confined and exacted. The surfaces are painted with mechanical conviction, undoubtedly borrowing from the tropes of digital art.
Bradley Harms, on his paintings:
“The precision of the lines themselves hint at technology, where the gesture repeated forms elaborate and complex systems, flipping between surface assertion and spatial invitation. These accumulations hint at endlessness, as they exceed the viewer’s visual awareness; a contemplation of modernism is transferred into a more frighteningly contemporary construct. Unlike the modernist impulse, they are not intended to be reductive but additive in nature, subsequently allowing for a field of discourse that is open-ended and reflective of our techno-driven ability to process vast amounts of information: the simple relationships of very complex systems.”