Mark Bradford - Contemporary Art Part II New York Thursday, May 12, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio

  • Exhibited

    San Antonio, Finesilver Gallery, Mark Bradford: that wasn't my car you saw, Kathryn Spence: New Works, Augusto Di Stefano: New Works, April 12 - June 15, 2002

  • Catalogue Essay

    Bradford’s myriad practices – in their promiscuity, in their exultation of the fragment, in their obstinate refusal to provide comforting or easy answers to the concerns he addresses – create allegories that are at once formal, political, personal and psychological. His psycho-geographies and interventions insist upon the infinitely mutable qualities of urban space. The issues at stake – class, ethnicity, race, economic participation – are not quantifiable, not concrete, and not givens. Instead they are overlays, points-of-view, tools that weave in and out of one another in ways unexpected and contingent. In that sense, Bradford’s indecipherability and his promiscuity with respect to form and content become allegory’s breeding ground. At the end of the day, this breeding ground leaves us questioning more than we did at the beginning. It also ignites our desire, making us want still more.

    (Steven Nelson, "Mark Bradford's Allegorical Impulse," in Mark Bradford, exh. cat., Sikkema, Jenkins & Co., New York, 2006, n.p.)

  • Artist Biography

    Mark Bradford

    American • 1961

    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.

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Am i losing you...

Mixed media on canvas.
72 x 84 in. (182.9 x 213.4 cm.)
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $506,500

Contemporary Art Part II

13 May 2011
New York