The American artist Peter Bradley painted Starmaker I in 1971, the same year that he had his first exhibition at André Emmerich Gallery in New York City. From his time as the Associate Director of Perls Gallery in New York, Bradley became acquainted not only with art historical icons such as Picasso and Braque, but also with leading figures in the field of contemporary art such as Clement Greenberg, Kenneth Noland, and Mark Rothko, who championed his experiments in abstraction.
Starmaker I is built layer-upon-layer with spots of acrylic paint coalescing together like a stellar explosion. Bradley applied paint using a spray gun to result in an effect reminiscent of those achieved by Pointillist painters, whose dots and patterns of color amalgamate into a unified composition. Starmaker I’s tremendous size creates an overwhelming visual effect commensurate with its stellar subject matter.
Though Bradley has questioned his placement within the larger context of the Color Field movement, he has stated, “To me abstract painting is all about color. The main thing about making art and music is color. Color represents itself boldly and there’s all kinds of color in nature.” As we see in Bradley’s work, the ineffable wonders of the universe can be revealed to us through both abstraction and the powerful use of color.