Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III

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  • Provenance

    Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Aspen Art Museum, Mark Bradford, February 11 - April 4, 2010

  • Literature

    Mark Bradford: Merchant Posters, exh. cat., Aspen Art Museum, 2010, no. 83, pp. 126, 153 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III is from a seminal series of Mark Bradford’s “merchant paper” works executed in 2008. Bradford made this series to address Hurricane Katrina’s disastrous effects on the impoverished African American members of the New Orleans community. Included in the acclaimed 2010 Aspen Art Museum exhibition and directly related to the monumental 72-piece 2008 work titled Corner of Desire and Piety at the new Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III is a highly charged image of a community still struggling three years after the devastation of Katrina. The pieces of paper in the composition were found in and around the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and advertise propane delivery to FEMA trailers that proliferated, and remained, long after Hurricane Katrina. The corner of Desire and Piety Streets does not exist as the streets run parallel to one another and never intersect. However, Bradford uses the title of the work as a metaphoric incongruity that mirrors the impossible decisions many residents were forced to make following Katrina and its recovery period. Utilizing shimmering foil further obscures the text and pushes the physical manifestation of language away from the literal and towards abstraction. Within such a compact composition, the artist is able to unite many of his primary stylistic and emotional themes that are interwoven throughout his practice. Without regard to the source of his materials, Bradford’s work is always focused towards social commentary and, through his art, advocacy. Incorporating the ephemera of his “neighborhoods” across America in his minimalist text “paintings”, Mark Bradford makes us aware of the exceptional ways in which he has been able to re-examine and then re-purpose the practice of painting in the 21st century.

Ο ◆9

Property of a Private American Collector

Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III

mixed media collage
22 x 27 3/4 in. (55.9 x 70.5 cm)
Initialed, titled and dated "Corner of Desire and Piety M 2008" on the reverse.

$100,000 - 150,000 

sold for $173,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 8 May 2016