There is an unmistakable quality to Kay Bradner’s work. Crisply incised lines define the shapes of the central objects, while abstracted fields of color deepen the space around them. She often uses several media in a single work to achieve the effect she wants. Rich abstracted fields of color using a monotype-like technique contrast with the sharp intaglio line drawn into the surface. Many of these recent works are created on aluminum. The surface is one that as a printmaker, Bradner is very comfortable with. The evolution of painting and incorporating the many techniques she had mastered is uniquely hers.
Bradner is highly respected in the Bay Area and beyond for her extraordinary skills as a printmaker. Few artists are as accomplished in the art of intaglio printmaking. Bradner has been essential in helping many artists achieve remarkable works in that medium. They include Joseph Goldyne, Gary Bukovnik, Mark Adams, Beth Van Hoesen, Michael Mazur and Matt Phillips. In 1974, Bradner established Katherine Lincoln Press in San Francisco. The press was named for her grandmother whom she admired greatly.
Bradner was born in Foxboro, Massachusetts. She attended Oregon State University where she studied geology. She soon realized that it was not just the “logic” of landscapes that engaged her, but the beauty of them – in her words, “Beauty informed by logic.” She turned her focus to making art. She received her Masters in Fine Art from the CCAC (California College of Arts and Crafts) in 1975. Bradner has taught at at CCAC, UC Davis and The San Francisco Art Institute.