The sculptures on display at Indiana University by Morton C. Bradley have elicited responses from viewers outside of the art strata according to IU Curator of Campus Art Sherry Rouse.
“Everybody sees something differently,” she said. “I’ve taken these sculptures into scientific communities and I’ve had people say ‘gosh. That’s the virus I’m researching’ and mathematicians say ‘that’s totally outside of mathematics,’ but they were thrilled with it. They appeal to different people on different levels.”
Starting Oct. 1, Indiana University Northwest will exhibit a series of the late artist’s creations in “Color and Form: Selected Works by Morton C. Bradley Jr.” Made up of 20 pieces, “Color” will be shown at the IUN Gallery for Contemporary Art through Oct. 26.
Born in 1912, Bradley spent most of his life on the East Coast, but his ties to Indiana were strong; his great grandfather served as a philosophy and chemistry professor at IU, as well as librarian and university president, in the 19th Century, and his parents met on IU’s campus.
Bradley studied art at Harvard University, graduating in 1933, and furthered his studies in Europe. Finding inspiration in geometry and math as well as in art, Bradley penned the influential art tome “The Treatment of Pictures” in 1950.
Over the decades, Bradley’s work has been exhibited at his alma mater and at IU as well as in galleries and museums from coast to coast. His estate was donated to IU after his passing in 2004.
“They’re geometric sculptures that are painted using a pre-described color theory, and what you basically have at the end of that is beauty,” Rouse said. “You have these basic forms, and from those, he just let his mind wander and explored the variety of shapes and colors. They’re very, very beautiful to look at.”
“Color” is made up of sculptures created by Bradley from the 1970s up through the early 00s. Bradley used a variety of materials, including metals, balsa wood and styrene in his art over the course of his lifetime.
“He experimented with different media in order to perfect what he was doing,” Rouse said. “In today’s world, they would be computer generated.”
IUN Gallery for Contemporary Art is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.