Mark Bradford - 20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session New York Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | Phillips

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  • "Think about all the white noise out there in the streets: all the beepers and blaring culture—cell phones, amps, chromed-out wheels, and synthesizers. I pick up a lot of that energy in my work, from the posters, which act as memory of things pasted and things past. You can peel away the layers of papers and it’s like reading the streets through signs." —Mark Bradford

    Collectors Digest

    Concurrent Institutional Show:  


    The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Mark Bradford: End Papers, March 8,2020-January 10,2021

    • Provenance

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

    • Exhibited

      Aspen Art Museum, Mark Bradford: Merchant Posters, February 11 - April 4, 2010, no. 84, pp. 126, 153 (illustrated, p. 125)
      Columbus, Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University; Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art; Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art; Dallas Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Mark Bradford, May 8, 2010 - May 20, 2012, pl. 27 (installation view illustrated, n.p.)

    • Literature

      John Vincler, "On Excavation: The Paintings of Mark Bradford", The Paris Review, July 31, 2019, online (installation view illustrated)

    • 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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Property of an Important New York Estate


Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) II

signed with the artist's initial, partially titled and dated "Corner of Desire and Piety M 2008" on the reverse
mixed media collage
22 x 27 3/4 in. (55.9 x 70.5 cm)
Executed in 2008.

Full Cataloguing

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $252,000

Contact Specialist

Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York

1 212 940 1250
[email protected]

20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Afternoon Session

New York 8 December 2020