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  • Provenance

    Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Gavin Brown's enterprise, Mouth and Foot Painting, January 8 - February 19, 2011

  • Literature

    Phil Grauer, "Joe Bradley", The Journal, no. 30, January, 2011, p. 56 (illustrated)
    Sharon Butler, "Joe Bradley Meets Ab Ex", Two Coats of Paint, January 17, 2011 (online)
    "In Conversation: Joe Bradley with Phong Bui", The Brooklyn Rail, February 3, 2011 (online)
    Brian Boucher, "Joe Bradley", Art in America, March 25, 2011 (online)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I find that oftentimes I’ll approach a subject with a certain degree of irony or distance, and then through the process of working and spending time with it, I come out the other end a true believer.” – Joe Bradley, 2009

    Mouth and Foot (Cock and Balls) is a testament to Joe Bradley’s ever-evolving and attractively unequivocal process. Debuted at the artist’s much-buzzed about solo show at Gavin Brown’s enterprise in 2011, Mouth and Foot Painting, the work retains all of the wit and farce so essential to Bradley’s painterly style. Circles overrun squares, in olive drab green and contrasting indigo blue, intersecting with a distinctively phallic shape in bold black line dominating the foreground. Bradley plays with our expectations, electing to paint on both sides of the canvas, as thickly-applied oil paint on the recto bleeds to the verso, and vice versa—the “mouth” and the “foot” on the recto engaged in a mischievous dialogue with the phallic forms on the reverse. The primeval appeal of Mouth and Foot (Cock and Balls) lies not only the physical treatment of the canvas, but also in the composition bleeding through from the reverse of the canvas highlighting Bradley’s profound irreverence.

    The works included in the Gavin Brown exhibition introduced a new dynamic energy and visual power to Bradley’s oeuvre, with their grimy lines and grungy textural surfaces. Large-scale canvases brazenly feature flurries of primary colors and suggestions of form, running the viewers’ eyes all over their surfaces in a chase to make sense of the composition. The unprimed canvas of the present lot has absorbed the detritus of his studio floor, artist and critic Phong Bui captures the high impact of Bradley’s economy of form, “…while the lines are reduced and simple, they are in fact very physical, and while the surfaces look spare, they have just enough of an accumulated history of wrinkles, dust, and undetectable stains to create their own patinas." (Joe Bradley and Phong Bui, "In Conversation: Joe Bradley with Phong Bui," The Brooklyn Rail, February 2011)

Property from an Important New York Collection


Mouth and Foot (Cock and Balls)

oil, oilstick and mixed media on canvas
77 x 102 in. (195.6 x 259.1 cm)
Signed and dated "Joe Bradley 2010" along the overlap.

$700,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for $725,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 8 May 2016