Katherine Bradford - New Now London Thursday, July 13, 2023 | Phillips
  • “Really what I love is transparency and cropping, and that’s a good reason to do swimmers. People want me to say that swimming is a metaphor or that I was on the swimming team […] my main motivation is to create a transparent look in a painting [...] I love to create an image where the water and the body are interacting. So what I’m trying to do is to get the human body to be enfolded in the paint, and therefore in the water.”

    American-born artist Katherine Bradford is known for her brightly saturated works. Candy-like colours are used to depict subjects such as superheroes, boats and mothers, affording them a nostalgic and dreamlike quality. Despite a late start in her career, Bradford has seen critical acclaim for her work; having had solo exhibitions at Campoli Presti and Sperone Westwater in recent years, as well as teaching at SUNY Purchase, Fashion Institute of Technology and Yale School of Art.


    The present work is typical of Bradford’s work with swimmers, using a variety of marks on the canvas to create a hazy vision, where land and water are hard to distinguish. In lieu of expression, the viewer must interpret emotion through the physicality of her painted subjects, allowing the narrative of the piece to ebb and flow, much like the painted water.


    Bradford’s swimmers’ series began in the mid-2010s, and saw the artist adapt a more psychological approach to her work. Androgynous figures crowd the canvas, yet we see little interaction between them. Bradford uses a luminous palette and gestural brushstrokes to create the lucid appearance of bodies in water, commenting that I think the sea came into my paintings because the way I put on paint looks like water, and then I added boats and swimmers. It was a watery world.’i



    i Jason Stopa, ‘KATHERINE BRADFORD with Jason Stopa’, The Brooklyn Rail, 2012, online.

    • Provenance

      Campoli Presti, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

Property of a Belgian Private Collector


A Walk to the Sea

signed and dated 'K. Bradford 2020' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
51 x 40.8 cm (20 1/8 x 16 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

£15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for £25,400

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now
+44 20 7901 7993

New Now

London Auction 13 July 2023