Mark Bradford is best known for dazzling, large-scale abstract paintings that examine the class-, race-, and gender-based economies that structure urban society in the United States. Gathering carefully chosen found and salvaged materials from the area surrounding his studio in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Bradford engages in an intricate artistic process that involves both creation and destruction. His complex, fractured works address pressing political issues and the media's influence on contemporary society while cataloguing cultural change and the artist's personal responses to societal condition.
The first major book on this leading American artist, Mark Bradford features essays by distinguished authors who investigate how Bradford straddles the line between social critique and formal innovation, playing the two against one another to produce works of seduction and analysis. Topics include Bradford's debt to abstract expressionism, his relationship to the largely unknown history of twentieth-century abstraction by African American artists, his work as a public artist, and his interest in midcentury European collage and decollage practices.
Christopher Bedford is curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Hilton Als is a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. Carol S. Eliel is curator of modern and contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Richard Shiff is Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Center for the Study of Modernism. Katy Siegel is professor of art history at Hunter College, City University of New York. Robert Storr is dean of the Yale University School of Art. Hamza Walker is director of education at The Renaissance Society, the University of Chicago.