Katherine Bradford’s “Roast” is part of the Modern’s Focus exhibit.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s Focus exhibits are often a place to showcase up-and-coming young artists, but Focus: Katherine Bradford takes in a painter who turned 75 this year. The abstract expressionist has enjoyed a boom in popularity in recent years, coinciding with a recent shift in the direction of her art. Never one for indulging the art world’s pomposity, Bradford has tended to stick superheroes or boats into her canvases, which are often highly stylized night scenes that involve pools of water or heavenly bodies.

Set against those are the barely delineated earthly bodies of swimmers and surfers in the luminescent waters. Looked at one way, these figures look like kids’ finger paintings. Another way, like Matisse’s. Either way, these mysterious canvases have a peculiar power, combining a mystical evocation of infinity with a whimsical sense of humor. It may be too cold to go swimming, but these paintings may make you want to break out your swim trunks and bikinis anyway. Bradford’s new show opens this weekend.

Focus: Katherine Bradford runs Sat thru Jan 14 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Admission is $4-10. Call 817-738-9215.