Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day
May 13 – November 26, 2017
Mark Bradford’s exhibition for the U.S. Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2017 is born out of his longtime commitment to the inherently social nature of the material world we all inhabit. For Bradford, abstraction is not opposed to content; it embodies it. His selection of ordinary materials represents the hair salon, Home Depot, and the streets of Los Angeles—both the culture industry and the grey economy. Bradford renews the traditions of abstract and materialist painting, demonstrating that freedom from socially prescribed representation is profoundly meaningful in the hands of a black artist.
Bradford’s longtime social and intellectual interests will be present in the Pavilion, most notably in his concern for marginalized people, both their vulnerability and their resiliency, and the cyclical threat and hope of American unfulfilled social promise. Coming at a moment of terrible uncertainty, Tomorrow is Another Day is a narrative of ruin, violence, agency, and possibility, a story of ambition and belief in art’s capacity to engage us all in urgent and profound conversations, and even action.
Following its debut in Venice, Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day will be on view at The Baltimore Museum of Art from September 2018 through January 2019.
Mark Bradford was born in 1961 in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. He received a BFA (1995) and MFA (1997) from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Best known for his large-scale abstract paintings that examine the class-, race-, and gender-based economies that structure urban society in the United States, Bradford’s richly layered and collaged canvases represent a connection to the social world through materials. Bradford uses fragments of found posters, billboards, newsprint, and custom-printed paper to simultaneously engage with and advance the formal traditions of abstract painting.
Solo exhibitions include Scorched Earth at the Hammer Museum (2015), Sea Monsters at the Rose Art Museum (2014), Aspen Art Museum (2011), Maps and Manifests at Cincinnati Art Museum (2008), and Neither New Nor Correct at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007). In 2009, Mark Bradford was the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Award. In 2010, Mark Bradford, a large-scale survey of his work, was organized by Christopher Bedford and presented at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, before traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Beginning November 2017, the artist will present Pickett’s Charge, a monumental commissioned cyclorama of paintings at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
His work has been widely exhibited and has been included in group shows at LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014), Whitney Museum of American Art (2013), the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), Seoul Biennial (2010), the Carnegie International (2008), São Paulo Biennial (2006), and Whitney Biennial (2006).
Mark Bradford is represented worldwide by Hauser & Wirth.
Commissioner & Co-Curators
Christopher Bedford, U.S. Pavilion Commissioner and Co-Curator
Christopher Bedford is the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the 10th director to lead the museum, which is renowned for its outstanding collections of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Recognized as an innovative and dynamic leader, Bedford served as director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University for four years prior to joining the BMA. His previous experience includes curatorial positions at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and J. Paul Getty Museum. Born in Scotland and raised in the United States and the UK, Bedford has a B.A. from Oberlin College, an M.A. from Case Western Reserve University, and has studied in the doctoral programs at the University of Southern California and the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. He is currently a trustee of Art + Practice, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and Maryland Citizens for the Arts.
Katy Siegel, U.S. Pavilion Co-Curator
Katy Siegel is the Senior Curator for Research and Programming at The Baltimore Museum of Art and inaugural Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University. Among her curated exhibitions are Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, with Okwui Enwezor and Ulrich Wilmes at the Haus der Kunst, Munich; Light Years: Jack Whitten, 1971-1974, Painting Paintings (David Reed) 1975, co-curated with Christopher Wool, and many other shows at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, where she was Curator at Large; and High Times Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-75, which toured internationally. Her books include “The heroine Paint”: After Frankenthaler; Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art; and Abstract Expressionism. Siegel is also a contributing editor at Artforum. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College, and her M.A. and her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.
Rio Terà dei Pensieri
Rio Terà dei Pensieri is a nonprofit social cooperative that provides opportunities for work placement and social reintegration to men and women within Venice’s prisons. Rio Terà dei Pensieri trains prisoners to produce cosmetics, design and manufacture PVC bags, as well as operate a silkscreen laboratory. All products are available to the public for purchase.
Rio Terà dei Pensieri is part of a 13-member collective of social cooperatives working with incarcerated persons in the Italian prison system called FREEDHOME. This collective provides an extensive network of employment opportunities to current and formerly incarcerated persons. Participants are trained to make artisanal products, building vocational skills for future job opportunities outside of the collective network.
THE ROSE ART MUSEUM AT BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
Tomorrow Is Another Day was envisioned as a companion to Mark Bradford’s exhibition of the same name, both contextualizing Bradford’s works for the U.S. Pavilion and directly responding to them. The catalogue opens with an essay by the co-curators of the U.S. Pavilion exhibition, Christopher Bedford and Katy Siegel, the inaugural Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University and BMA Senior Programming and Research Curator. The introduction prefaces a spectrum of historical and critical writings responding to Bradford’s art and also his social activism, in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Venice,
The volume additionally features excerpts from two historical texts: W.E.B. Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction in America and James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain.
Completing this collection of historical and current critical writings is an extended interview with Mark Bradford by longtime collaborator Christopher Bedford. In this interview, Bradford discusses his life and his career with unprecedented frankness, revealing the social and material spark for his art and his activism. This is accompanied by a stunning collection of archival photographs that also intertwine personal experience and social history, from Bradford’s own childhood photos to images of conflict and possibility dating from the 19th century forward.
Advance copies of Tomorrow Is Another Day will be available beginning May 9 in Venice. The book will be widely available to the public in June 2017.
Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day
Texts by Chris Bedford, Katy Siegel, and others
9.4375 x 11.875 in
Publication date: May 2017
ABOUT LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
The Venice Biennale dates to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. It is one of the most important international biennials and cultural institutions in the world, introducing hundreds of thousands of visitors to exciting new art every two years. The 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (May 13-November 26, 2017) is directed by Christine Macel, Chief Curator at the Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou in Paris.
ABOUT THE U.S. PAVILION
The United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, a building in the neo-classical style, opened on May 4, 1930. Since 1986, The U.S. Pavilion has been owned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and managed by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, which works closely with the Department of State and exhibition curators to install and maintain all official U.S. exhibitions presented in the Pavilion. Every two years, museum curators from across the U.S. detail their visions for the U.S. Pavilion in proposals that are reviewed by the NEA Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions (FACIE), a group comprising curators, museum directors, and artists who then submit their recommendations to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Past exhibitions can be viewed on the Peggy Guggenheim Collection website at:
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us, like religion, politics, language and ethnicity, and geography. ECA programs build connections that engage and empower people, and motivate them to become leaders and thinkers; to develop new skills; and to find connections that will create positive change in their communities.
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