Mark Bradford (b. 1961 in Los Angeles) is a contemporary artist known for his large-scale abstract paintings created out of paper. Characterized by its layered formal, material, and conceptual complexity, his work explores social and political structures that objectify marginalized communities and the bodies of vulnerable populations. After accumulating layers of various types of paper onto canvas, Bradford excavates their surfaces using power tools to explore economic and social structures that define contemporary subjects. His practice includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, printmaking, and other media. In addition to his studio practice, Bradford engages in social projects alongside exhibitions of his work that bring contemporary ideas outside the walls of exhibition spaces and into communities with limited exposure to art.
In 2015, Bradford co-founded Art + Practice in Leimert Park with his longtime partner, Allan DiCastro, and philanthropist and art collector Eileen Harris Norton. A+P supports transition-age foster youth and children experiencing displacement worldwide through collaborations with nonprofit social service providers First Place for Youth and PILAglobal. A+P also provides free access to museum-curated contemporary art, organized by the California African American Museum.
Bradford received a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1995 and an MFA from CalArts in 1997. He has since been widely exhibited internationally and received numerous awards. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art; Hauser & Wirth, Menorca; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Hauser & Wirth, London; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai.
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