THOMAS BRADY | RECENT WORKS
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BY THOMAS BR ADY
Painting doesn’t house, clothe, feed or make people well; it certainly isn’t an essential for existence. At best, it is a high form of entertainment. Its importance lies in the fact that it is a unique expression of one person. In a society filled with a group dynamic, work solely the product of one person is in itself worth pondering. My paintings are about my daily life. Hopefully, they allow other people to see the richness that exists around them and discover for themselves an individual sense of wonder. I paint everyday people, the people we pass and don’t notice, the people on the street, the people who serve us, the faceless people who are part of our lives but to whom we pay little attention. I use thick, gooey paint, mix colors into colors, create the image and emotion through the paint, and find the final image in the process of making it. I use pastel drawings to research and guide the process, but not control it. I try to create a new world that exists in paint. Paintings that are emotional statements, that are living personal inquiries, leaps of faith, works that don’t idealize, but empathize with. In painting, sometimes I accomplish exactly what I want and what I wanted was not nearly enough, and sometimes I get something new, which is either better or worse than what I wanted. And usually it takes a while to figure out which is which.
Waiting For The Bus | Oil
on Panel | 36 x 40 Inches
The Lawyer and The Cowboy
y | Oil on Panel | 40 x 54 Inches
ARTI S T S TATE M E NT I grew up in a cow town outside of Boston that at some point became a rich suburb. My dad drove a gasoline truck, 2nd shift, for Jenny Gasoline. Lynnfield became a community of new country clubs, where everyone was an engineer, even the guy who picked up the trash. I was 14 when my dad died of lung cancer, one of the hazards of delivering gasoline and smoking camel cigarettes.
Athletics defined what I liked, and school meant studying science and math. I was accepted to Amherst College at the time when the college was expanding its admission policy beyond those that attended expensive private schools, like Taft and Andover. In my sophomore year, looking for an alternative to my declared chemistry major, I took a painting class with Fairfield Porter. In that course I discovered something I liked more than sports. I asked Porter if I could do this as a career and he told me I had no talent, but that talent was something you learn. In watching Porter paint the view across the campus lawn, I discovered that an artist could make art from what I thought of as just boring brick buildings. His paintings were not just copies but concepts of visual understanding, although at the time I really did not understand what this was.
The Diner Cook | Oil on P
Panel | 28 x 28.75 Inches
After my third year at Amherst, I went to London to study painting in a small art school, and saw for the first time works by Van Gogh, the Blue Rider, De Brucke, and Expressionist English painters, Leo Kossoff and Frank Auerbach. My interest in colorful expressive work found an historical precedent in these painters, as well as artists such as Soutine and Beckman. There were many moves after college. New York for the NY Studio School, followed by travels in Europe, for the museums. After marriage, the small town of Plymouth Mass. for family and the beginnings of a life with children. Providence RI later became a small intimate reflection of London, with a diverse population, buses, hills and a life that was separate and independent. Our move to Philadelphia was so I could receive an MFA and foster a secure life as an academic. As an expressive painter, coloring within the lines was not my goal but was what was generally required for most teaching jobs, as well as the popular art markets of Philadelphia. Instead of teaching I worked a variety of part time jobs, experienced the life of a laborer and made paintings that reflected this community. I received a couple of grants and sold enough paintings to pay the taxes and finance a summer home in the mountains of Virginia. This home allowed our family to get out of Philly during the heat and humidity of summer and allowed me to experience bright yellow-green landscapes.
Teenage Girl | Oil on P
Panel | 39 x 32 Inches
Stan The Man | Oil on P
Panel | 30 x 26.75 Inches
Smoking At Daddy Pops | O
Oil on Panel | 42 x 56 Inches
For me art is about looking out into the world and findin
and doing drawings that re
ng things that interest me both visually and emotionally
eact to that specific thing.
Saint Pattyâ€™s Day | Oil on
n Panel | 36 x 43 Inches
Red Faced Couple | Oil o
on Panel | 40 x 54 Inches
Men At Daddy Pops | Oil
on Panel | 30 x 40 Inches
Man From The Workshop | O
Oil on Panel | 24 x 32 Inches
Art always makes a political statement. Half of art is wh choose to paint workers, people on the streets, landscap life. I grew up the only son of a truck driver, when unions e -Thoma
hat you choose to paint, the other half how you paint it. I pes inhabited by family farmers invisible to the corporate equaled freedom and workers were crusaders in the cause. as Brady
Man By The Meat Market | O
Oil on Panel | 47 x 35 Inches
Hoag | Oil on Pane
el | 31 x 41.5 Inches
Democratic Table | Oil o
on Panel | 36 x 47 Inches
Complimentary Couple | Oi
il on Panel | 34 x 46.5 Inches
IN THE MORNING BEFORE BRE AKFAST - ESSAY In the morning before breakfast or even coffee, I get in my car with pastels and paper in the back and go out driving, sometimes with a destination, sometimes searching for one. Most of the summer, and part of the fall and spring, I make oil pastel drawings from life of things I find inspiring, not always with overwhelming assurance - but more of a twinkling that causes a pause, a reconsideration, a possible wow. In the summer, I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and drive the country roads, a refreshing change from the frenetic streets of Philadelphia. In the city, I either go places to draw - the busy bus stops or diners where people are, or I stop on the way to the grocery store, and other mundane destinations for unexpected moments of wonder. My art results from my daily life and, as a result, I enjoy my daily life and love being a painter. I find it annoying that sometimes the pursuit of great work is confused with a false overly romantic sense of non-existent angst. The only real tragedy for an artist is mediocre art, the rest is just how life is.
Carnival Market | Oil on
Panel | 36.5 x 47 Inches
Over the course of a year, I do about 70 pastels and choose 10 to 15 to make big oil paintings from, usually in the winter when it is too cold to draw outside and when the light in my studio is great - no leaves blocking the sun. In the 40-plus years I have been doing this, I never see anyone else drawing in the local diner, or in places like Broad and Olney where all the buses are. I realize that there is the occasional photographer waiting for a story or a landscape painter out standing in the field, but usually I am the only artist ever in the same place - as the thing he is making art from and the only artist people see in their everyday life. This I think is significant as well as the fact that the resulting paintings arenâ€™t bad either. As an artist, I observe and empathize with lifeâ€™s situations and decide for me who and what are significant and thrilling. From all the pastels, I choose a very select group to further develop into expressive paintings. Although the final paintings are spontaneous, the preparation for the paintings is anything but. It involves a huge amount of drawings, as well as under-painting, and a lot of examination of what the pastel is and what it can become. I strive to make something real, not a copy of life, but a metaphor that captures my experience of a particular moment but also one that exists on its own terms as an individual expression.
BV Man | Oil on Pane
el | 30 x 34.25 Inches
Blue Hat Market Man | Oil o
on Panel | 431 x 40.8 Inches
After Mass | Oil on P
Panel | 38 x 40 Inches
4th of July Brothers | Oil
on Panel | 36 x 48 Inches
2 Guys At Saturday Market |
Oil on Panel | 36 x 47 Inches
â€œI paint everyday people, the people we pass and donâ€™t notice, the people on the st whom we pay l
treet, the people who serve us, the faceless people who are part of our lives but to little attention. â€œ
EDUCATION 1982 | Masters of Fine Arts, Temple Univ. Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia PA 1974 | New York Studio School, New York , NY 1973 | BA with field study, Amherst College, Amherst MA 1972 | Heatherly School of Art , London England
AWARDS 2000 | Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant 1995 | Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Painting Fellowship 1995 & 1997 | Discipline Winner, Pew Fellowship in the Arts
MUSEUM COLLECTIONS Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Roanoke VA Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst MA
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2019 Bridgehampton Art Fair, Bridgehampton, NY 2018 Philadelphia Fine Art Fair, Philadelphia, PA 2017&18 JSF Contemporary, Philadelphia, PA 2016 Wood and Company, Lexington, VA 2015 Chestnut Hill Gallery, Philadelphia,PA 2013 Tioga Gallery, Bryn Mawr PA 2011-2012 Dalet Gallery, Philadelphia PA 2010-2012 JSF Contemporary, Philadelphia PA 2007-2010 Knapp Gallery, Philadelphia PA 2007 Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins Univ. Roanoke VA 2005 Hyder Gallery, Philadelphia PA
75 2003 Schoolhouse Gallery, Croton Falls , NY MCS Gallery, Easton PA 2002-2007 Studio 11, Lexington, VA 2002 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta GA 2000 Signal66, Washington DC 1999 Shenandoah Valley Art Center, Waynesboro VA 1998 School of Commerce, Washington & Lee University, Lexington VA 1995 Dupont Gallery, Washington & Lee University, Lexington VA 1994 Lagerquist Gallery, Atlanta, GA 1993-1994 Axis Gallery, Philadelphia PA 1986 Noel Butcher Gallery, Philadelphia PA 1979 Mead Art Museum, Amherst College , Amherst.MA Anyart Art Center, Providence, RI 1978 The Art Complex at Duxbury, Duxbury MA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2014-2015 Chestnut Hill Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 2013-2014 Tioga Gallery, Bryn Mawr, PA 2012 Vam Art, Metuchen, PA 2011 Kouros Gallery, New York, NY 2010 McNeal Art Group,New York, NY 2008 Scope Art Fair, Hamptons, NY 2006 Mason Murer Gallery, Atlanta, GA 2005 OK Harris Works of Art, New York, NY 2004 Hyder Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 2002 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA 2001 Signal 66, Washington, DC 2000 Catholic University, Washington, DC
79 1999 Denise Bibro Gallery, New York, NY Viridian Gallery, New York, NY 1998 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE 1997 The Painting Center, New York, NY 1996 Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA 1994 Armory Show, Philadelphia, PA 1993 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE 1989 DCCA, Wilmington, DE 1987 Gianetta Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 1986 Art at City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 1985 Noel Butcher Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 1983 Beaver College, Glenside, PA 1980 Unicorn Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 1979 Fuller Art Museum, Brockton, MA
CORPORATE COLLECTIONS Smith Kline Widener University School of Law Morgan Stanley Independence BC Primavera Systems Miller Anderson and Sherrerd The Hillier Group Carmine Winters Inc First USA Bank Core States Bank Telecommunications Group Astra Zeneca Saul, Ewing and Remick Washington and Lee University Bell Atlanticâ€™ Amherst College Fapdoodles Inc. Keane Tracers Sterling Winthrop Woodmere Art Museum Hollins University Lenfest Foundation Boston Consulting Group
SELECTED REVIEWS Victoria Donohue, Philadelphia Inquirer 2012 Burton Wasserman, Art Matters, 1994, 1998 William Southwell, Art Matters 1991