Mark Bradford is a contemporary African-American artist. Working in a wide-ranging conceptual practice, he best known for his multimedia abstract paintings whose laborious surfaces hint at the artist’s excavation of emotional and political terrain. “For me, it's always a detail—a detail that points to a larger thing,” he observed of his process. “I start to imagine what it points to, and that's when my imagination really goes.” Born in 1961 in Los Angeles, CA, Bradford studied at the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with an MFA in 1997. His work often displays the atrocities and struggles of race and poverty, as seen in his site-specific installation Help Us (2008). In the work, the artist displayed pieces of wood salvaged from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on top of Los Angeles building, spelling out “HELP US,” recalling the desperation of hurricane survivors on New Orleans rooftops. In 2017, Bradford represented the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale with his work Tomorrow is Another Day. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others.
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