Katherine Bradford paints images of figures transformed, boats, ocean liners, planes and horses. These means of transport are vehicles by which she expresses the wish for entrancement and the need to be transformed in ways that are poetic and humorous. They also express her need to retrieve something that has been lost.
As a resident of New York and Maine, the artist mediates the urbane materialism of abstract expressionism with the directness and poetics of folk- art inflected realism. In this way Bradford paints employing bold, gestural brushstrokes, casual offhanded details and eccentric compositions. Her approach opposes the heroic with the intimate often within the same painting.
These radiant, richly colored paintings depict grand ocean liners, civil war era battleships, and elaborately dressed women. Groups of repeated images of swimmers and boats become allegories of isolation and community. Hulls of ships stabilize the formless infinity of the ocean as minute figures and boats congregate around their wakes. Darkly ominous floating barges carrying more mysterious robed figures seem to enact moonlit midnight rituals. Everything glows with an unworldly ambience. Color emanates from mysterious dark spaces, and racy intermixed hues evoke salty air, sea breezes, light on sky and water.