Artist Talk: Mark Bradford
Tuesday, Sept. 21
Film/Video Theatre in the Wexner Center (1871 N. High St.)
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).
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. For more information, go to http://www.wexarts.org/ex/index.php?eventid=4211. Attendance is free for students!