The Flag, 1958

by Martin Bradley

P.O.A.

MEDIUM: Oil on board
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 16.0 x 36.0 ins
SIGNATURE: Initialled and dated (lower left)

Catalogue No: 6294 Categories: ,

Bradley created a portfolio of ambitious oils; a myriad of semi-abstract, dreamlike scenes. The ambiguous and surreal shapes carry a symbolism that is characteristic of his work.

Unlike the largely flat planes that are also typical of Bradley, in this piece there are visible layers of colour and definition, which gives an impression of depth. The dark streaks flitting across the surface, and the angular blocks of colour which are cut off at the edges of the board, seem to imply that this is a snippet of some wider scene happening beyond the confines of the material.

The artist travelled widely throughout his life and so many of his works hold references to his experiences. It is interesting to ponder at what Bradley may have seen and learned during his largely nomadic life.

(with) Waddington Galleries, London
Private Collection, United States

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Martin Bradley was born in London in 1931, but went on to – in adolescence – run from home and work as a cabin boy on the Central and South American run. During this experience, Bradley began to paint. He later lived in London, where he had his first solo exhibition, and Paris for several years, showing his work regularly in the early 1960s. That is until 1962, at which time Bradley travelled to East Asia and left the art scene behind.

He has gone on to live in Belgium, but not before learning several languages including Tibetan and Mandarin, and serving in the Spanish Foreign Legion. He also converted to Buddhism, and these experiences have influenced his work since – featuring calligraphy and various associations with his extensive, lifelong travels.

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