Like A Turkey Through Corn
March 28 – May 16, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 28, 6 – 9 p.m.
Javier Peres is pleased to announce “Like A Turkey Thru Corn,” the third solo exhibition by Joe Bradley at Peres Projects, his first at the new Culver City gallery location in Los Angeles.
Until recently Bradley has been known primarily for his minimal, rectilinear “figures” composed of monochrome panels. The paintings presented here, however, continue the artist’s beloved and maligned new Schmagoo series, first presented in New York last fall. A somewhat ridiculous word, “Schmagoo” originates from the Beat-era street slang for heroin. It is this wry semiotic pairing that compels the artist to take a primitive approach:
“The word stuck with me, and I began to think of “Schmagoo” as short hand for some sort of Cosmic Substance… Primordial Muck. The stuff that gave birth to everything…I have been thinking of Painting as a metaphor for the original creative act.” (JB, 2008)
Bradley drafts many versions of each gesture before hitting the finished note on raw canvas, as if to imply that automatic writing can be made repetitive (picture a grade school notebook cover) and, as such, eventually reveals potent mutations: slang for heroine (Super Schmagoo), a faceless mouth, the Jesus fish who swims downstream. Perhaps as Jungian children, we’ve been inbred by appropriation and pop overexposure. Bradley titles the show after late Houston blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins’ 1959 tune of a similar name. Hopkins sings about fleeing through the corn fields like a turkey in pajamas: “Just had to get away from there!” Bradley’s work shares this kind of endearing resolution of a fix.
“Like A Turkey Through Corn” will be on view at Peres Projects (2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034) through May 16, 2009. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and by appointment. For further information or reproductions please contact Sarah Walzer at (310) 559-6100 or Sarah@PeresProjects.com or Javier Peres at Javier@PeresProjects.com.