Born in Los Angeles in 1961, Mark Bradford creates paintings without paint. Earlier in his career he used street merchant posters and hair salon end papers, sticking them to canvases and then tearing them away and sanding them down. The resulting works are abstracts imbued with subtle traces of cultural specificities.
Having won the MacArthur Foundation Award in 2009, and received the US Department of State’s Medal of Arts earlier this year, he is also an important public artist. His sculptures include an ark he made in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and a wooden Jumbotron he installed at LAX. The latter’s commentary on surveillance is a real coup, a work that seems far too wry to have been approved for such a humourless environs.
Outside America, Bradford is currently showing at the Sharjah Biennial (until 5 June 2015), and is in the midst of his first solo show in China, Tears of a Tree
. Curated by Clara Kim, the show is taking place at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai until 3 May 2015.