Mark Bradford (American, b.1961) is an installation and conceptual artist currently working out of Los Angeles, CA. Bradford’s artistic work is varied and is presented in multiple mediums such as collaged paintings, videos, installations, and sculptures. He studied art in Valencia, CA, at the California Institute of the Arts, earning a BFA in 1995 and an MFA in 1997.

Bradford’s early years were spent working at his mother’s hair salon, where he created signs for the salon and later worked as a hairdresser. This influence can be seen in his early works, with the use of permanent-wave endpapers, foil, and dye being prevalent parts of his collages. Bradford expanded on his use of found materials as he developed his artistic style, incorporating everything from peeling movie posters to salvaged plywood into his layered, abstracted creations. The result is a combination of collage and paint.

Bradford isn’t afraid to tackle tough subject matter in his work. The majority of his pieces deal with issues of race, gender, and class in American society. His first survey expedition, Mark Bradford, shows the breadth of his work. Pieces created from 1997 to 2010 are included, featuring installations, paintings, sculptures, and videos. The survey expedition is presented by Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts. His work has been exhibited at locations including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. Other well-known works by Bradford include A Thousand Daddies, Across 110th Street, and Help Us. Help Us is an especially poignant piece, for which Bradford created an installation on the roof of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh for the 2008 Carnegie International. The installation, inspired by the victims of Hurricane Katrina, can only be seen by aerial view; it spells out the words "HELP US." Bradford has won several awards for his work, including the Nancy Graves Foundation Grant in 2002, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2003, the Bucksbaum Award in 2006, and the MacArthur Fellowship in 2009. Bradford’s work can be seen at the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. gallery in New York.

Timeline

1995
BFA, California Institute of the Art, Valencia, CA
1997
MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

Exhibitions

2013
Transforming the Known: Works from The Bert Kreuk Collection, Gemeente Museum, The Hague
2013
The Gesture and the Sign, White Cube, Sao Paulo
2012
ROUNDTABLE, 9th Gwangju Biennale, Korea
2012
The Painting Factory, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2012
With that ass, they won't look at your eyes, Rubin Gallery, University of Texas, El Paso (solo)
2012
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (solo)
2012
Sikkema Jenkins, NY (solo)
2011
Mark Bradford, MCA Chicago, Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas (solo)
2011
Painting… EXPANDED, Espacio 1414, Santurce, Spain
2011
Untitled, 12th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul
2011
New Order, White Cube, London
2010
Media City Seoul, 6th International Biennale of Seoul, Seoul
2010
Invisible Shadows – Images of Uncertainty, Marta Herford, Herford
2010
Alphabet, Studio Museum, Harlem, New York (solo)
2010
The Pistol That Whistles, White Cube, London (solo)
2010
You’re Nobody (Until Somebody Kills You), Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (solo)
2010
Merchant Posters, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (solo)
2010
Hard Targets, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
2010
America Here + Now, Curated by Eric Fischl, Presented by Artrain
2009
Mark Bradford and Kara Walker, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York, NY
2008
ArtPace, San Antonio, TX (solo)
2008
Maps and Manifests: New work by Mark Bradford, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH (solo)
2008
Nobody Jones, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York, NY (solo)
2007
Neither New nor Correct: New Work by Mark Bradford, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
2007
Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova, Robin Rhode, Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, NC March-July 2007
2006–2007
Art on Paper, 2006, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, Nov 12, 2006- Jan 21, 2007
2006–2007
The Other Side of Perfect, World Class Boxing, Miami FL
2006
Mark Bradford: Niagra, LA>
2006
Red Eye: L.A. Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL.
2006
Black Alphabet- ConTEXTS of Contemporary African-American Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland.
2006
USA TODAY, Royal Academy of the Arts, London
2006
Consider This…(a LACMALab project) LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
2006
Witness Protection, Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, California State University, San Bernardino, CA
2006
Meditations in an Emergency, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI
2006
The Home of the Free, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
2006
Busan Biennial, Busan, South Korea
2006
Black Alphabet, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
2006
Dark Places, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
2006
Sisqueiros Project, Curated by Lauri Firstenberg, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
2006
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2006
Sao Paolo Biennial, Sao Paolo, Brazil
2005
inSite: Art Practices in the Public Domain, San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico
2005
Grace and Measure, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY
2005
Farsites, San Diego Museum of Art, CA and the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, Mexico
2005
African Queen, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
2004
California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
2004
Perspectives @25: A Quarter-Century of New Art in Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX.
2004
Bounce: Mark Bradford and Glenn Kaino, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
2004
Broad Territories, UCR/California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA
2003
Very Powerful Lords, Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York, NY
2003
ARCO 2003, Madrid, Spain
2003
Lean To, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
2003
Black Belt, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
2003
Hair Stories, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ (traveling exhibition)
2003
'Very Powerful Lords', Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, NY (solo)
2003
'statements', ARCO 2003, curated by Lauri Firstenberg, Madrid
2002
'Pertaining to Painting,' Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
2002
'Mirror Image,' curated by Russell Ferguson, UCLA Hammer Museum and Center for Curatorial Studies
2002
Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
2002
'Painting as Paradox', Artists Space, NY
2002
'gucci down to the socks', Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
2002
'Project Series 16: Mark Bradford', Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (solo)
2002
'caught up', Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2002
'that wasn't my car you saw', Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio, TX (solo)
2002
Mirror Image, curated by Russell Ferguson, UCLA Hammer Museum (traveled to Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
2002
Pertaining to Painting, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (traveled to Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX)
2002
Painting as Paradox, Artists Space, New York, NY
2001
Freestyle, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (traveled to Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA)
2001
Snapshots: New Art from Los Angeles, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami Beach, FL)
2001
'I don't think you ready for this jelly', Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, NY (solo)
2001
'Freestyle', curated by Thelma Golden and Christine Kim, Studio Museum, Harlem, New York, NY and Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
2001
'Snapshots: New Art from Los Angeles', UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami Beach
2001
'Mixed Feelings', University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
2001
'Capital Art, 2001', Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2000
'Contemporary Art by African American Artists', The Art Museum of Princeton, NJ
2000
'Color Theory', Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2000
'Fresh Cut Afros', Watts Towers Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2000
'Black Male', Reginald Ingraham Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2000
Contemporary Art by African American Artists, The Art Museum of Princeton, NJ
1999
Biennale Internazionale 1999, Palazzo degli Affari, Florence, Italy
1999
'A Place Called Lovely', Greene Naftali, New York, NY
1999
'Biennale Internazionale 1999', Palazzo degli Affari, Florence, Italy
1999
'European Wavy', Two Rivers Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA (solo)
1998
'European Wavy',Two Rivers Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA (solo)
1998
'Floss', Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)

Literature

2002
Trevor Schoonmaker, 'Hot Comb', One World
2002
Gaines, Malik. Tema Celeste, edition 92
2002
Jones, Amelia. 'The Post-Black Bomb,' Tema Celeste, edition 90
2002
Klein, Mason. 'I don’t think you ready for this jelly,' Artforum
2002
Firstenberg, Lauri. 'I don’t think you ready for this jelly,' Flash Art
2001
Knight, Christopher. 'Cultural Evolution in ‘Freestyle’,' Los Angeles Times
2001
Tumlir, Jan. Review: 'Snapshot', Artforum
2001
Subotnick, Ali. Review: 'Snapshot,' Frieze
2001
Princethal, Nancy. Review: 'Freestyle'. artext, Number 74
2001
Valdez, Sarah. 'Freestyling', Art in America
2001
Peterson, Thane. 'Art Collectors Get Patriotic,' Business Week
2001
'A Full Studio Museum Show Starts with 28 Young Artists and a Shoehorn,' The New York Times
2001
Waxman, Lori. Review: 'Freestyle,' New Art Examiner
2001
Cotter, Holland. Review: 'I don’t think you ready for this jelly' The New York Times
2001
Knight, Christopher.' Cultural Evolution in ‘Freestyle’,' Los Angeles Times
2001
'A ‘Snapshot’ of LA Artists,' Los Angeles Times
2000
Schjeldahl, Peter. 'Breaking Away: A Flowering of Young African-American Artists,' The New Yorker
2000
Budick, Ariella. 'Post Black and White,' Newsday
2000
Tate, Greg. 'The Golden Age', Village Voice
2000
Saltz, Jerry. 'Post-Black: Radical Intelligence at the Studio Museum in Harlem,' Village Voice
2000
Bischoff, Dan. 'Selections: Contemporary Art by African Americans', Sunday Star Ledger
2000
Sirmans, Franklin. “I don’t think you ready for this jelly,” Time Out New York
2000
Waxman, Lori. Review: 'Freestyle,' New Art Examiner
2000
Horton, David. 'Color Theory', Art week
2000
Harvey, Doug. 'Gender, Race', LA Weekly
2000
Sherman, Ann Elliott. 'Art: Color as Concept: African American artists treat ‘black’ as a verb at WORKS,' Silicon Valley Metro
1999
Von Schlegell, Mark. Review: 'Snapshot,' artext, Number 75
1999
Ellegood, Anne. 'A Place Called Lovely', NY Arts
1999
Adrian, George. 'Curator’s Pick', New Museum Website
1999
Ellegood, Anne. 'A Place Called Lovely,' NY Arts
1999
Shearing, Graham. 'Contemporary: Two local shows of radical art deserve to be explored', Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
1999
Thomas, Mary. 'L. A. Artist Bradford presses boundaries of Black Modernism', Pittsburgh Post Gazette
1998
Webster, Mary Hull. ''Wings of Desire' and Mark Bradford at the San Francisco Art Institute' Art Week