Katherine Bradford

Katherine Bradford (b. 1942, New York) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

Intuitive and impulsive, her practice can be located in the tradition of abstract expressionism and color surface painting. While she initially worked in a shadowy and abstract manner, over time she found access to the figurative. In her earlier work, small figures, superheroines and swimmers, both central themes in her paintings that interact gesturally and without any perspective with the background. Meanwhile, large-scale color planes and squares mutate into cryptic figures without ever depicting realistic textures. 

Her work presents not only a form of radical self-empowerment, but references current social issues; be it gender, but also the relationship between individual and society. Bradford’s fantastical worlds negotiate both cohesion and empathy, as well as isolation and loss. 

Bradford had solo institutional exhibitions at FRYE ART MUSEUM, Seattle; Portland Museum of Art, Portland; Hall Art Foundation, Vermont; The Modern Museum of Forth Worth, Forth Wort, TX, among others, and has been included in the following institutional group exhibitions (selection): Nurnberg Art Gallery; RISD Museum, Brown University, Providence; Transcend Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile, AL; Farnswort Art Museum, Rockland, ME; The Storefront, Bellport, NY; Havard University, Cambridge, MA; New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA; Bowdwoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME, US; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterwille, Maine. 

Public Collections (selection): Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Smith College Museum, MA; Bowdoin College Museum, ME; Farnsworth Museum, ME; Pennsyvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA; Bates College Museum, MA; Addison Gallery of American Art, MA; Worcester Museum of Art, MA; Portland Museum, ME.


Born in New York, NY / geboren in New York, NY, US

Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY / lebt und arbeitet in Brooklyn, NY, US

Education / Ausbildung

MFA, State University of New York, Purchase, NY

BA, Bryn Mawr College, PA

Selected solo exhibitions / Ausgewählte Einzelausstellungen


Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (forthcoming)

Kaufmann Repetto, Milan, Italy

AMERICAN ODYSSEY, Kunsthalle Graz, Graz, Austria

GERTRUDE STEIN AND SUPERMAN, Haverkampf Leistenschneider, Berlin


Fear of Shoes, Schloss Derneburg, Hall Art Foundation

Les Saltimbanques, Campoli Presti, Paris

Flying Woman: The Paintings of Katherine Bradford, FRYE ART MUSEUM, Seattle


Flying Woman: The Paintings of Katherine Bradford, Retrospective at the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME (traveling)

Night Swimmers, Tomio Koyama, Tokio


Mother paintings, CANADA, New York

Swimmers and Lifeguards, Kaufman Repetto, Milan, Italy

Philosophers’ Clambake, Hall Art Foundation, Reading VT


‘Mother Joins the Circus’, Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR


‘Artists, Cops and Circus People’, Campoli Presti, Paris

‘Legs and Stripes’, Campoli Presti, London


‘Superman returns with swimmers’, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie, Berlin, Germany

‘Katherine Bradford: Friends and Strangers’, CANADA, New York, NY

‘Katherine Bradford: Magenta Nights’, Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR

‘Being like Water’, with Jen DeNike, Anat Egbi, Los Angeles, CA


‘Superman Responds’, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie, Berlin, Germany

‘Focus: Katherine Bradford’, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX

Katherine Bradford, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Milan, Italy

Sperone Westwater, New York, NY


‘Fear of Waves’, CANADA, New York, NY

‘Divers and Dreamers‘, Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR


Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, CT

Caldbeck Gallery, Rockland, ME


Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR

Arts & Leisure, New York, NY

Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Arts & Leisure, New York, NY


Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME

Steven Harvey Fine Art, New York, NY


Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY

John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY


Aucocisco Galleries, Portland ME


John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY

Samson Projects, Boston, MA


Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY


Sarah Bowen Gallery, Brooklyn, NY


ICON Contemporary Art, Brunswick, ME


Canaday Gallery, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA


Katherine Bradford and Mark Wethli, Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME


David Beitzel Gallery, New York, NY


Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA


Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL


Victoria Munroe Gallery, New York, NY

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Selected Group Exhibitions / Ausgewählte Gruppenausstellungen


Queerness in der Gegenwartskunst“, Kunsthalle Nürnberg (upcoming) 2023

MY WORLD PLAY, Haverkampf Leistenschneider, Berlin, GER (upcoming)


When in Maine, Nina Johnson Gallery, Miami, FL


Tangerine, Acquavella Galleries, Palm Beach, FL

Any Distance Between Us, RISD Museum, Brown University, Providence, RI

Potent, curated by Nicasio Fernandez, Harper’s Gallery, East Hampton, NY

Equal Affections, curated by Edwin Oostmeijer, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam Netherlands

Different Strokes curated by Marcus Jahmal Almine Rech Gallery, London UK

Float, Fly, Transcend Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile, AL

Women of Vision, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME

It’s All About Water, The Storefront, Bellport, NY

Six Hot and Glassy, Tripoli Gallery, Wainscott, NY

Friend Zone curated by Vaughn Spann, Half Gallery, New York, NY

Sleep | Katherine Bradford, Lenz Geerk, Aubrey Levinthal, Norbert Schwontkowski | Haverkampf Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Dear John, James Castle and his Influence on Contemporary Artists, Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR

Reflections: Human Nature, Gana Art, Seoul, Korea

A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and A Century of American Art. New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA


‘Dieu Donné Benefit Exhibition’, Brooklyn, New York, US

‘Carpenter Center for Visual Arts’, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US

‘A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and a Century of American Art’, New Bedford Museum, New Bedford, MA, US

‘Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond’, curated by Rachel Seligman and Minita Sanghvi, Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, US

‘Gallery Swap’, Philipp Haverkampf, Alice Folker Gallery, Copenhagen, DK

‘Dog Days: Ryan McGinley, Katherine Bradford, Jack Pierson’ Launch F18, New York, NY, US

‘Online Exhibition’, curated by Chris Martin, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, UK

‘Katherine Bradford, Hulda Guzmán, Rebecca Ness’, Alexander Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY, US


‘Art Purposes’, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME, US

’15th Annual Thanksgiving Collective: What Have We Done?’, Tripoli Gallery, Wainscott, NY, US

upcoming: ‘Garden’, Shrine Gallery, New York, NY

‘Canada b/w Drag City’, Soccer Club Club, Chicago, IL

‘Occupy Colby’, curated by Phong Bui. Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine

‘Away in the Hill’, Grimm Gallery, New York, NY

JTT Gallery NYC, Condo New York with Adams and Ollman, Katherine Bradford, Vaginal Davis and Geoffrey Mitchell

‘Downward Flower’, curated by Adrianne Rubenstein, Fourteen 30, Portland, OR

‘Dance With Me’, curated by Kyle Staver, Zurcher Gallery, New York, NY

‘Nurikabe’, Tetsuo’s Garage, Nikko, Japan

‘Heat Wave’, Philipps Auction, London

‘Downtown Painting’, presented by Alex Katz, Peter Freeman, New York, NY

‘Go Figure!’, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY

‘Big Ringer’, curated by Andrew Guenther, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

‘Manifest Content’, Campoli Presti, London, UK

‘Girl Meets Girl: Rose Wylie, Katherine Bernhardt, Katherine Bradford, Caroline Chandler’, Choi Jager Gallery, Cologne

‘Notebook’, curated by Joanne Greenbaum, 56 Henry, New York, NY

‘The World According To’, curated by Andria Hickey, Pace Gallery, New York, NY

‘Men of Steel, Women of Wonder’, Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AK

‘Pulse’, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, KC

‘I Don’t Believe in Art I Believe in Artists’, curated by Jen deNike, LX Gallery, New York, NY

Brooklyn Rail Collateral Event at Venice Biennale


‘Summer of Love’, Freight + Volume, New York, NY, US

‘Reinventing the Figure’, Monica De Cardenas, Zuoz, Switzerland

‘Redefining the Sublime’, curated by Joel Sternfeld, The Hall Foundation at Gray

Art Gallery, New York, NY

‘Dancing Godesses’, Dio Horia, Mykonos, Greece

‘Intimacy’, curated by Stephen Truax, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY

‘Aporia’, curated by Mary DeVincentis, David & Schweitzer Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

‘Adolescent Rebellion’, curated by Andy Mister, One Mile Gallery, Kingston NY


‘Prospect 4’ New Orleans, U.S. Biennial, New Orleans, LA

‘The Science, Culture, & Art of Superheroes’, Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA


‘Fort Greene, curated by Adrianne Rubenstein’, Venus Over LA, Los Angeles, CA

‘The Great Figure Two’, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

‘The Female Gaze Part Two: Women Look at Men’, Cheim & Read, NY

‘Make Painting Great Again’, CANADA, NY

‘Hall Art Foundation’, Reading, VT

‘Flowers in Your Hair’, curated by NIGHT GALLERY, fuse space, San Francisco, CA


‘Sky, Sea, Land’, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

‘4 Guggenheim Fellows’, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

‘CMCA Honors Award Exhibition’, Rockport, ME

‘Special Blend, JOURNAL Gallery’, Brooklyn, NY


‘Ambivalent Figuration, Samson Projects’, Boston, MA

‘Shape Shifters: New York Painters’, University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC

‘It’s Gouache’, curated by Geoffrey Young, Jeff Bailey Gallery

‘Worth A Thousand Words’, Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, VT


‘Everywhichway’, Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, NY

‘Searching for Love and Fire’, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL

‘Sized Up: Large­Scale Paintings’, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA


‘Invitational and Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture’, American Academy of Art and Letters, New York, NY

Awards / Auszeichnungen


Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant


Guggenheim Fellowship

American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, New York, NY


American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY


Pollock­ Krasner Foundation Grant, New York, NY

Public Collections / Sammlungen

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Brooklyn Museum, NY

Smith College Museum, MA

Bowdoin College Museum, ME

Farnsworth Museum, ME

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA

Bates College Museum, ME

Addison Gallery of American Art, MA

Worcester Museum of Art, MA

Portland Museum, ME