The paintings of Katherine Bradford present them selves like scenes from a desire, vivid and quick even as their meaning continues to be mysterious. Fluorescent nude guys ring a pool suspended among the stars. Disembodied legs carrying costume shoes encroach on a inexperienced-haired woman’s individual room. A team of sea swimmers gaze out at lightning on the horizon. “Sometimes I do a portray,” says Bradford, who splits her time concerning Brooklyn and coastal Maine, “and then I make it darker, and then darker and then darker. It’s due to the fact I like the secret. I like factors that occur at evening.” Bradford has been portray because the 1970s, but her flip to figuration in the ’90s serves as the beginning level for the first solo survey of her work, now at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. Across additional than 40 paintings, the display traces her complex evolution — from single subjects to ensembles, from oils to acrylics — as she returns to what she calls her “bag of tricks”: swimmers, caped superheroes, floating horizontal bodies. The artist is drawn to these avatars of fear and uncertainty, she suggests, for the reason that “it’s the opposite of individuals previous stately portraits of royalty, where by they’re supposed to glimpse invincible. I like to do individuals who are somewhat slipping aside.” “Flying Female: The Paintings of Katherine Bradford” is on see via Sept. 11, portlandmuseum.org.