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Dallas Museum of Art Announces Mark Bradford Exhibition

The Dallas Museum of Art presents an exhibition of work by Mark Bradford in an exhibition on view October 16, 2011–January 15, 2012.

Mark Bradford Strawberry 2002 copyright Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford has emerged in the past decade as one of the most inventive and accomplished artists of his generation, extending and transforming the traditions of 20th-century American painting into an empathetic yet demanding reflection of the urgency, tension, and vibrancy of our present moment. This five-venue national exhibition marks the first major survey of this Los Angeles–based artist whose multifaceted practice encompasses painting and sculpture as well as media and sound installation. It will be specifically designed by the artist and curators to take advantage of the unique soaring and expansive architecture of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Barrel Vault and surrounding gallery spaces.

A 2009 MacArthur Foundation “genius” award recipient, Mark Bradford (b. 1961) is best known for his large-scale abstract paintings made from a variety of collaged materials. These include billboards, permanent-wave end papers, carbon paper, newsprint, and other types of vernacular materials that Bradford layers together (or strips apart) and then manipulates with nylon, string, caulking, and sanding. Often incorporating references to place and geography, these works not only extend the possibilities of contemporary painting but also offer an unusual and highly individual reflection of the class-, race-, and gender-based economies and realities that make up urban society in the United States. Bradford often specifically makes reference in his grand and intricate paintings to Leimert Park, the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood where the artist lived as a child and continues to maintain his studio.

In addition to providing a comprehensive account of Bradford’s career to date, with an emphasis on his work as a painter, this exhibition will foreground new works, including an environmental installation with sound entitled Pinocchio Is on Fire, which examines key moments in the history of the black community in Los Angeles from the early 1980s to the present. Additionally, two new works related to Mithra, his monumental, ark-like public art project installed in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans for the Prospect.1 exhibition in 2008, will be featured: a major new sculpture titled Detail, which incorporates elements from Mithra, and a film titled Across Canal, which examines the conception, production, and reception of that work. Also commissioned for this exhibition are an ambitious suite of new paintings and four inventive new drawings incorporating graphite.

The Dallas Museum of Art presentation of Mark Bradford will be coordinated by Jeffrey Grove, The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Mark Bradford and exhibition curator Christopher Bedford, Wexner Center for the Arts Curator of Exhibitions.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs are its encyclopedic collections, which encompass more than 24,000 works and span 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum today welcomes more than 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings and dramatic and dance presentations. –

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