Painter Bradley Harms has been on the front lines of Canadian abstraction for several years. Building upon traditions within the medium, Bradley Harms creates work that reflects and critiques contemporary social and technological developments. Harms’ artwork addresses the manner in which we perceive painting.
Born in 1970, Winnipeg, Bradley Harms received his BFA from the University of Calgary in 1996 and his Masters of Fine Arts from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. 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. His artwork has been exhibited throughout North America and Europe, and his paintings 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.
For the past number of years, Bradley Harms has been on the front lines of the new wave of Canadian abstraction, building upon traditions within the medium, while creating work that both reflects and critiques contemporary social and technological developments. Harms’ work addresses the manner in which we perceive painting; manipulating the ideas of surface, form, and our notion of perfection.
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. 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. Though Harms “…enjoy(s) this mimicry, I eschew machine techniques by hand applying the delicately modulated lines, thereby trumping the manufactured aesthetic with the hand-made.”
Of his paintings, Bradley Harms shares:
“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.”