Mark Bradford is best known for dazzling, large-scale abstract paintings that examine the class-, race-, and gender-based economies that structure urban society in the United States. Gathering carefully chosen found and salvaged materials from the area surrounding his studio in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Bradford engages in an intricate artistic process that involves both creation and destruction. His complex, fractured works address pressing political issues and the media’s influence on contemporary society while cataloguing cultural change and the artist’s personal responses to societal condition.
The first major book on this leading American artist, Mark Bradford features essays by distinguished authors who investigate how Bradford straddles the line between social critique and formal innovation, playing the two against one another to produce works of seduction and analysis. Topics include Bradford’s debt to abstract expressionism, his relationship to the largely unknown history of twentieth-century abstraction by African American artists, his work as a public artist, and his interest in midcentury European collage and décollage practices.