Icons: Mark BRADFORD


Mark Bradford (1961) is not only the taller artist in the world (six feet seven and a half inches) he is the most talented and prominent of his generation who also generously gives back to his community.

Mark Bradford explaining his work at Hauser and Wirth Los Angeles in May 2018
Photo Beatrice Chassepot

The art of Mark Bradford is made of layers and layers of papers and memories. Collective memories and personal memories. It’s a sort of reverse-archeological work.

There’s also layers in the reading of it. The progression of the retina goes from the size, the colors, the fractures or the scars in the work to a closeup look where you discover multiple signs, multiple clues like letters, child-books, iconic names and so on.

detail of an artwork seen at the Hauser and Wirth exhibition – May 2018


To get a better sense of the art of Mark Bradford it’s better to watch videos about the making. His process is really key to the understanding:

Mark Bradford Interview: Layers of Violence on Louisiana Channel

Mark Bradford on Materials, Abstraction, and “Amendment #8” by Smithsonian American Art Museum

I make sculptural paintings

Mark Bradford at the Broad Museum:

Yellow Bird – 2012
mixed media collage on canvas
120 x 199 x 2 1/4 in. (304.8 x 505.46 x 5.72 cm)
courtesy Broad Museum

The Broad Museum, property of Eli and Edith Broad, comprises at least 9 very large wonderful pieces. Click on the link to see the collection https://www.thebroad.org/art/mark-bradford


The artists (from left) Theaster Gates, Mark Bradford and Rick Lowe in Los Angeles outside one of Bradford’s Art + Practice buildings, which serves as both a gallery and a social services agency. Photo by Stefan Ruiz.

In 2013, Mark Bradford, the philanthropist Eileen Harris Norton, and neighbourhood activist Allan Dicastro established Art + Practice, an organization based in Leimert Park that encourages engagement with the arts. Additionally, via a collaborator it supports local 18- to 24-year-olds who are transitioning out of foster care. Bradford, DiCastro and Norton are long-term residents of South Los Angeles and have witnessed first-hand how a lack of educational and social resources can affect the community.

The trio created Art + Practice as a developmental platform for transitional age youth, stressing the importance of creative activity and practical skills for personal transformation and social change.

The organization occupies a nearly 20,000-square-foot campus in Leimert Park, from which it directs its programs and activities. Admission to all exhibitions and public programs is free and open to the public.

Art + Practice is located in historic Leimert Park Village – a neighborhood founded by Walter H. Leimert in 1927 that consists of 1.19 square miles, including a central town square, park and tree lined streets in South Los Angeles.