Mark Bradford (b. 1961) constructs impressive, large-scale abstractions that merge the subject and substance of urban life, low and high culture, order and chaos. This important publication explores the artist's creative process and innovative use of materials, and reveals the influence of earlier artists, such as Piranesi and Leonardo, on Bradford's newest body of work. These collages, created from paper fragments excavated from accumulated layers of advertising posters on the walls, windows, and lampposts of South Central Los Angeles, expose the interplay between social exchange and physical structures over time. Bradford's urban archaeological finds prove a remarkably beautiful and painterly medium, while their strata record informal economic patterns in the community.Focusing on Bradford's unique method of establishing a metaphoric relationship between the materials he employs and the images he creates, this book offers a stimulating perspective on a rising star of contemporary art.
Carter Foster is curator of drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art.