Travis Jeppesen on Joe Bradley


As part of the Annual Guide to Galleries, Museums, and Artists (A.i.A.‘s August issue), we preview the 2017–18 season of museum exhibitions worldwide. In addition to offering their own top picks, our editors asked select artists, curators, and other experts to identify the shows they are looking forward to. Here, Travis Jeppesen talks about Joe Bradley.

“Is this really Joe Bradley‘s first large-scale museum show in North America? Fuck. What took so long? Wasn’t anybody paying attention? 

“No one does shit like Bradley. Probably no one else is brave enough. His anti-polish ethos comes from a classic adventure story that stars paintbrushes and oils and canvas—the one told by those wild Ab-Ex drunks. Whether it’s with lines or splotched forms, Bradley works their legacy, all right, but he also perverts it into something of his own. He’s been on my middle finger for years. I count him as one of the few contemporary artists who invent new languages for the painterly medium to scream.

“Bradley always goes in a different direction. For the last show of his I saw, in 2016 at Eva Presenhuber’s gallery in Zurich, he’d decided to try something new. There were the paintings you came there expecting to see, sure, but then also these big brightly colored boxes, Donald Judd-like things but in neon hues. I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to do until I left. Down on the street it hit me. Oh yeah—writing in space.

“Fuck knows what he’ll come up with next, but we all should go see. Anybody who’s on a quest. If I don’t find my own fat white whale soon, I’ll just have to make my way up the Eastern Seaboard to check out his.”


“Joe Bradley,” Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y., through Oct. 1, 2017; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., Oct. 15, 2017–Jan. 28, 2018.

TRAVIS JEPPESEN is a Berlin-based artist, critic, poet, and novelist. His recent fiction includes The Suiciders (2013) and All Fall: Two Novellas (2014).