Peter Bradley

Peter Bradley in the May Abstract Art Collective Newsletter

Friend of A. Michael Marzolla and Artist in Residence at the Squire Foundation, Peter A. Bradley is featured in Bomb Magazine this month: “Artists in Conversation — Peter Bradley” by Steve Cannon, bombmagazine. org/article/8233125/peter-bradley. He is also a subject in the recent book 1971: A Year in the Life of Color by Darby English. (You can find it on Amazon.com.)

  a. Michael Marzolla and new York artist Peter a.
bradley:  Friends since 1974, Peter Bradley was recently
Artist-in-Residence at the Squire Foundation. Michael was
instrumental in arranging it.

 a. Michael Marzolla and new York artist Peter a. bradley: Friends since 1974, Peter Bradley was recently Artist-in-Residence at the Squire Foundation. Michael was instrumental in arranging it.

The book describes Bradley’s role as the curator of the groundbreaking DeLuxe Show in Houston, Texas in 1971 that brought together racially diverse abstract artists.

Michael’s friendship with Peter began in 1974 in Guatemala, where Michael was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Peter had come to Guatemala to look for orchids, one of his passions. They ended up traveling together throughout Guatemala. For Michael, as a fellow artist, it was an opportunity to learn from someone first-hand who had successfully been involved in the New York art scene, and whose peer group included people like Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Norman Lewis, Larry Poons, and Clement Greenberg. To top it off, Peter’s connection with jazz greats Miles Davis and Gill Evans, among others, was heaven for Michael, who was also a jazz aficionado.

It took Michael over two years to make the connection for Peter at The Squire Foundation, on a recommendation by local artist Nancy Gifford. Thanks to The Squire, Peter was able to spend the month of March in their residency program, located here in Santa Barbara. His time here included leading a three-day painting workshop and a special arts event evening at The Squire campus. Peter was also a special guest at two Santa Barbara Jazz Festival events. His final show is up at GraySpace Gallery on Gray Avenue in the Funk Zone until May 14th.

For more information on The Squire Foundation, their mission, and their residency program, please visit thesquirefoundation.org. For more information on Peter Bradley, visit his website at peterabradley.com, or visit his wiki page at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_ Bradley_(artist).

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AIR Peter Bradley in the Abstract Art Collective Newsletter

"The Squire Foundation’s Spring 2017 Artist In Resident, New York artist Peter A. Bradley, still has a couple upcoming events: a meet and greet art exhibit on March 23rd, 6:45 to 8 pm, at the Lobero Theater, 33 East Canon Period Street, and another exhibit and reception on March 31st from 5 to 8 pm at GraySpace Gallery, 219 Gray Avenue. Mr. Bradley is an abstract artist who views life and color through a lens of unyielding power and imagination. He is connected to the “New New Painters” movement, a group of nine core artists that developed in 1978 coincident with the invention of acrylic gel paint with chemist Sam Golden. Bradley’s work is held in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Museum of Arts, and the African American Museum (Dallas). For more info on the Squire Foundation and a full schedule of events, visit www.thesquirefoundation.org."

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Peter Bradley featured in the SB Independent

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Peter Bradley at the Squire Foundation

Artist Is Subject of New Book on Color in Modern Art

As of 2017, “outreach” has become one of the most common terms heard in the arts, but back in 1971, the idea of putting on a show of abstract art by a group of mostly New York City–based artists in an abandoned movie theater in Houston’s poverty-stricken Fifth Ward was virtually unheard of. For Peter Bradley, the venerable painter who will be in Santa Barbara all of March as artist in residence at the Morris B. Squire Foundation, The Deluxe Show, as it was called after the theater in which it was located, was a chance to give people an experience that was “like the new world we’re all striving towards, free of obstruction.”

The show’s sponsors, John and Dominique de Menil, were at the beginning of what would become an extraordinary career in art and philanthropy, and Bradley, then painting and working in Manhattan’s influential Klaus Perls Gallery, made a most prescient choice for the exhibition’s curator. Having turned down an invitation to be part of the Whitney Museum’s controversial Contemporary Black Artists in America exhibition earlier in the year on the grounds that it reduced the artists involved to tokens of their racial identity, Bradley took the de Menils’ offer to come to Houston with a show as a chance to exhibit nationally known black artists alongside such major proponents of color painting as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, and Larry Poons.

Peter Bradley poses for photos at the Morris Squire Foundation House

Peter Bradley poses for photos at the Morris Squire Foundation House

Bradley has accomplished a great deal since this curatorial coup in 1971, and he’s hard at work now at the Squire Foundation’s palatial headquarters in the hills off Route 154. But I emphasize his responsibility for The DeLuxe Show both because it’s an important milestone in art history — the first major show to comprehensively integrate black modernists with their white contemporaries — and because it’s what makes Bradley the hero of a fascinating new book called 1971: A Year in the Life of Color by Darby English, the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. Professor English stands at the forefront of a movement among art historians to uncouple African-American aesthetic practice from a strict regime of racialization. Along with another 2016 publication, Susan Cahan’s Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power, 1971: A Year in the Life of Color represents a wave of renewed interest in the swirling eddies of identity politics that swept through the institutions of fine art in the 1960s and 1970s. English finds in Bradley an early avatar of his own position, which values abstract art for its optimistic embrace of individual idiosyncrasies.

While he is in Santa Barbara, Bradley will be forwarding the Squire Foundation’s mission of creative empowerment with a series of public appearances, including an Abstract Art Workshop at the Community Arts Workshop on Garden Street March 10-12, a night of blended art forms at the Foundation’s Villa Maria on March 16, a meet and greet at the Lobero prior to the John Pizzarelli concert on March 23, and an exhibition at the GraySpace Gallery (219 Gray Ave.) in the Funk Zone on March 31, 5-8 p.m.

For more information about Peter Bradley or any of these events, visit peterabradley.com or thesquirefoundation.org.