The Nasher Museum presented an installation of four works by Mark Bradford, who has emerged over the past 10 years as one of the most inventive and accomplished artists of his generation. In 2009 he received the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award and in 2010 a traveling mid-career survey of his work was organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.
Bradford is best known for his large-scale, painterly collages and installations that demonstrate his interest in mapping communities and underground economies. His works are largely made from signage and salvaged materials, often taken from the streets of South Central Los Angeles where he lives. Bradford speaks to the adaptive nature of merchant culture by incorporating informal business posters, which advertise everything from gun shows to credit repair. He tears, paints, bleaches, sands and embellishes his materials to create abstract works that reimagine the city and reconfigure the urban landscape. Bradford’s broader practice, which includes video and sound, also offers subtle investigations of class, race and gender in the United States.
This was the first installation of Mark Bradford’s work at the Nasher Museum since the 2007 exhibition Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova, and Robin Rhode.
Special thanks to Blake Byrne, Suzanne and Howard Feldman, Hunter Gray, Bryan Lipinski and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., who helped make this installation of Mark Bradford’s work possible.
TOP: Mark Bradford, Potable Water, 2005. Mixed media collage, 130 x 196 inches. Collection of Hunter Gray. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. © Mark Bradford. Photo by Bruce White.