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Mark Bradford


Collection of Adam and Iris Singer
Photo: Bruce M. White

Mark Bradford

Wexner Center Residency Award Project

May 8, 2010–Oct 10, 2010

See the work of leading American artist Mark Bradford in this first major survey of his work. The Columbus Dispatch calls the show "stunning" and concludes "the effect is profound and powerful."

This show has received accolades from critics and visitors alike, and the Wexner Center is pleased to be able to extend its Columbus presentation to October 10, 2010 (from its original closing date of August 15). For more on the extension, read the press release in the "Links" section below.

Mark Bradford—the Wexner Center's Residency Award recipient in visual arts for 2009–10—lives and works in Los Angeles and was selected in fall 2009 for one of the 2009 "genius awards" from the MacArthur Foundation. Bradford (b. 1961) is best-known for large-scale abstract paintings made from a variety of collaged materials that not only extend the possibilities of contemporary painting but offer an unusual and highly individual examination of the economies (often defined by race, gender, and class) that structure urban society in the United States, and specifically in Leimert Park, the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood where the artist works.

A vigorous "archeologist" of that predominantly African American neighborhood, Bradford builds each work around a carefully chosen compendium of found materials or, as he calls them, "materials with a built-in history," that might recall Robert Rauschenberg’s creative scavenging in the late 1950s. He analyzes, combines, embellishes, brutalizes, and reconstitutes these materials—posters, flyers, and billboard paper, among them—in a very physical, craft-based process that is the basis of all his work. The resulting projects might make you think of Jackson Pollock or other abstract expressionists with their dynamic, swirling surfaces. But Bradford’s boundary-stretching methods and results are strikingly individual and fresh, seductive and analytical, deftly encompassing both social critique and formal innovation.

The show, organized by the Wexner Center and Curator of Exhibitions Christopher Bedford, features a large selection of works from the past decade plus new paintings and other projects produced as part of Bradford’s residency. The exhibition will travel to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, following its debut here.

Exhibition Catalogue
The extensive catalogue accompanying the exhibition, copublished with Yale University Press, features essays by Christopher Bedford, Robert Storr, Richard Shiff, Katy Siegel, and Hilton Als, as well as interviews with the artist by Carol S. Eliel and Hamza Walker. Get your copy now from the Wexner Center Store.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Resource Interactive.

Significant contributions are provided by The Broad Art Foundation, the Nimoy Foundation, Nancy and Dave Gill, and Toby Devan Lewis.

For teaching resources created by Mark Bradford and other contemporary artists, please visit the Getty Museum's Open Studio website.

Continue reading for complete image captions. (1)
Mark Bradford
The World Is Flat, 2007
Billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, twine, wrapping paper, carbon paper, acrylic paint, and additional mixed media on canvas
101 1/4 x 142 1/2 inches
Collection of Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann
Photo: Bruce White

Mark Bradford
Potable Water, 2005
Billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, and additional mixed media
130 x 196 inches
Collection of Hunter Gray
Photo: Bruce White

Mark Bradford
Untitled (Shoe), 2003
Billboard paper, acrylic gel medium, and additional mixed media on canvas
30 x 31 1/2 inches
The Speyer Family Collection
Photo: Bruce White

Mark Bradford
Pinocchio Is On Fire, 2010
Multimedia installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Photo: Sven Kahns

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