Morton C. Bradley Jr.


The purpose of my sculptures is to achieve the most nearly perfect integration of form and color possible. They are for the most part based on the five regular polyhedra (the Platonic Solids) because of the perfection of their forms, the complexity and variety with which they can be developed, and the logic with which they can be colored. In some cases, the particular form has been developed from the geometry of the polyhedron; in other cases a basic two-dimensional motive has been enriched by polyhedral symmetry. In either case, the spatial geometry has been combined with a parallel organization in color space so that orderly sequences of color result from any rotation of the sculpture.

(August 1998)


Geometric Form:
The forms [of the sculptures] are for the most part derived from the regular polyhedra because of their high degree of symmetry. These, the so-called platonic solids, are the tetrahedron, with four triangular faces; the dodecahedron, with 12 pentagonal faces; and the icosahedron, with twenty triangular faces. The dodecahedron has twelve faces and twenty vertices, the icosahedron has twenty faces and twelve vertices, with each form having thirty edges. They are called duals; and they have the same axis of symmetry and can be combined in the composite form. They are richer in possibilities and subtler in metrical relationships than the tetrahedron, cube and octahedron, and are therefore used more frequently in these sculptures.

(February 1981)


The most nearly perfect integration possible of color and form is the goal of these sculptures. The colors and color relations are specified in terms of a color sphere in which lightness (color value) is scaled vertically, hue is scaled radially about the vertical neutral axis, and the most saturated colors lie on the surface of the sphere. [Generally] the sculptures are painted with the colors of one or more of three related scales on this sphere, scales of twelve, twenty and thirty members respectively... Each surface color of the scale is modified according to the illumination and the geometry of a sculpture by such factors as shade, shadow, reflection, and reflected light; the number of colors perceived and the number of their inter-relationships being multiplied. Any view of a sculpture is unique, subtle, complex and highly orderly in both tonal and spatial relations. The sequence of patterns as the viewer moves, or as the sculpture rotates on any axis, is an orderly progression.

The sequence of views of highly organized and integrated forms and color provides both unity and variety, qualities considered essential in much aesthetic theory from the time of Aristotle.

(February 1981)