Katherine Bradford, Leg Hold, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 60 × 48".

Katherine Bradford, Leg Hold, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 60 × 48".

Katherine Bradford

Campoli Presti | London

In Katherine Bradford’s painting Push Pull, 2019, a featureless, androgynous individual is held centrally in the frame by a number of roughly hewn limbs reaching from the left and the right of the canvas. They buttress the figure in an aggressive manner but, strangely, also support and even care for it. Is this “push pull,” or tug-of-war, between figure and ground a form of protection or a confrontation? Some of the other paintings in Bradford’s recent exhibition “Legs and Stripes,” such as Choice of Heads, 2019, and Leg Hold, 2019, ask the same question. The former, hewn in layers of bright blues and oranges, shows a figure grasping a head by the eyes and mouth, while the latter presents a dominant female character holding another’s upright leg, as an audience looks on across a red horizontal rope. These allegorical wrestling matches represent the artist’s performative brawls with paint

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