Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mark Bradford at ICA

"It’s about…tracing the ghost of cities past. It’s the pulling off of a layer and finding another underneath." - Mark Bradford
Through his collaged paintings, sculptures, videos, and installations, Mark Bradford explores issues of class, race, and gender in American urban society. An archeologist of his own environment, Los Angeles, Bradford uses found materials—peeling movie posters, hand-lettered “FOR SALE” signs, endpapers used to perm black hair, salvaged plywood—which he layers, embellishes, erodes, and reconstitutes into abstract compositions.
The first survey exhibition of the artist’s work, Mark Bradford includes painting, sculpture, installation, and video from 1997 to 2010, and several new works. Mark Bradford is a touring exhibition organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University.
You can view the pieces of his exhibition at ICA at:

I had the opportunity on Sunday before departing Boston, with some AIB colleagues, to go to the Institute for Contemporary Art and view the Mark Bradford exhibition and the other exhibitions on display there. The size and scale of Bradford's work was impressive, in addition to the beauty of texture of his painting with layers of collage building on the metaphor of layers in society, making such a strong statement about social justice in the context of contemporary culture. This was a real connection to our study of the Archive this residency in Michael's class, Critical Theory II. It gives me some ideas and food for thought about how collaging and painting can be combined integrally with layering meaning into an image. I am thinking about how that might be utilized within my own paintings and compositions, as collaging was brought up numerous times within my varied crits.

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