Mark Bradford - AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN New York Friday, February 8, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    Gwangju, South Korea, Gwangju Biennale, September 7 – November 11, 2012, p. 281, p. 521 and 540 (illustrated)
    London, White Cube, Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank, October 16 – December 22, 2013, p. 146 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born 1961, Los Angeles, CA
    Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

    1997 MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
    1995 BA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

    Selected honors: Bucksbaum Award (2006); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2003); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2002)
    Selected museum exhibitions and performances: Baltimore Museum of Art; Broad Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

    Now acclaimed worldwide, Mark Bradford was first recognized on the contemporary art scene in 2001, following the inclusion of his multi-layered collage paintings in Thelma Golden’s Freestyle exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The groundbreaking exhibition introduced him alongside 27 other emerging African American artists as part of a generation of "post-Black" artists who sought to transcend the label of "Black artist”, while still deeply exploring and re-defining the complex notions of blackness. Bradford’s ascent has been as awe-inspiring as it is deserving: from critical attention in Freestyle, to his first solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2007, to his installation at the 2017 Venice Biennial as the first African American artist to represent the United States.

    Critical of the ways in which the annals of art history divorced abstract art from its political context, particularly when looking at the Abstract Expressionists working in the 1950s, Bradford has endeavored to “make abstract painting and imbue it with policy, and political, and gender, and race, and sexuality”. Bradford’s pursuit of what he has termed “social abstraction”, that is, “abstract art with a social or political context clinging to the edges”, is deeply indebted to his choice of materials that allow him to imbue his works with a proliferation of readings, from art historical, to political, to autobiographical.

    Bradford’s choice of material has always been deeply connected to his biography and everyday existence. While Bradford’s early work utilized end-papers, the use of which was inspired by time at his mother’s hair salon, in the mid-2000s the artist shifted towards using paper material sourced on the streets of his immediate neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. Despite the fact that Bradford is known for making paintings out of found printed material, his works only reveals glimpses of their original documentary intent. Working in the lineage of the Dadaists and the Nouveau Réalisme movement, Bradford honed a refined technique of a décollage, a process defined by cutting, tearing away or otherwise removing, pieces of an original image. As Bradford notes of his choice of material, “I am an artist that paints with paper… I begin to take these materials and form what I consider painting, sculptural painting."


1872 South

signed with the artist's initial, titled and dated "1872 South 2012 m" on the reverse
mixed media collage on canvas
102 x 144 in. (259.1 x 365.8 cm.)
Executed in 2012.

Estimate On Request


New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019