Over the past four decades, Dove Bradshaw has explored the concept of indeterminacy and the unpredictable effects of time, weather, erosion and atmosphere on a range of materials. She has synthesized the conceptual and physical, the ephemeral and concrete, the absolute and contingent. Her work confronts philosophical and aesthetic paradoxes that exist within the realms of science, magic, alchemy, and the natural world.
This exhibition consists of two fundamentally related approaches to chance and indeterminacy. The first, painting, continues her inquiry into visual and physical shifts that occur when metallic pigments are altered by exposure to atmospheric conditions. Starting in 1984, she observed the chemical reaction that occurs when liver of sulfur is applied to silver. Her investigations evolved into the Contingency paintings versions of which are included in this exhibition. Bradshaw applies this liquid chemical to surfaces of silver leaf. The persistent reactions turn the silver a coppery gold; turquoise hues emerge, then deep blue, then green, and eventually an iridescent black. A chemical transformation is at work, subtle shifts in color and pattern continue to develop as the painting responds to humidity, light, temperature and other environmental “contingencies.”
The second, sculpture, extends her earlier work with actual-scale spent bullets which has been transformed through impact and velocity into organic shapes. These were cast in actual-size in gold, and silver -- converting them from lethal function to objects of desire. The current sculptures are enlarged, fully-transformed polymorphous sculptural patinaed in gold, silver, and copper. The considerably enlarged “shot, spent bullets” exist as sui generis abstract forms, while also retaining their identity as symbols of social injustice, political controversy, and violence -- transformed from dark purpose to aesthetic pleasure.
Dove Bradshaw was born in 1949 and grew up in New York. In 1969 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1975, she was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; in 1985, she received the Pollock-Krasner Award; In 1987 she received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for design and lighting for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; in 2003, a Furthermore Grant; and in 2006, The Artist’s Grant from the National Science Foundation.
Bradshaw is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh; the LeWitt Collection, Chester, CT; Fields Sculpture Park at Art OMI International Arts Center, Ghent, NY; Arkansas Arts Center; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; and the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; The British Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris, Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Muestra Internacional De Arte Grafico, Bilbao, Spain; The State Russian Museum, Marble Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia. Her work has been widely exhibited in the US, Europe, and Asia. Bradshaw lives and works in New York City.
 Jan Castro Garden. "Dove Bradshaw," in Sculpture Magazine, April 2008.