Selected works by Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford
The Devil is Beating his Wife


Billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, permanent-wave end papers, stencils, and additional mixed media on plywood

335.3 x 609.6 cm
Mark Bradford’s abstractions unite high art and popular culture as unorthodox tableaux of unequivocal beauty. Working in both paint and collage, Bradford incorporates elements from his daily life into his canvases: remnants of found posters and billboards, graffitied stencils and logos, and hairdresser’s permanent endpapers he’s collected from his other profession as a stylist. In The Devil is Beating His Wife, Bradford consolidates all these materials into a pixelised eruption of cultural cross-referencing. Built up on plywood in sensuous layers ranging from silky and skin-like to oily and singed, Bradford offers abstraction with an urban flair that’s explosively contemporary.
Mark Bradford


Mixed media,collage on paper

249 x 301 cm
Using collage and paint on paper, Mark Bradford’s Kryptonite possesses an organic quality in its grid-like composition. Its convoluted architecture and overlapping details radiate as a megalopolissprawl, a seething microcosm of activity. Often compared to Piet Mondrian, Bradford gives modernism’s vision of an ordered utopia a lethal reality check as hard-edged borders and harmonious planes are exchanged for independent non-defined forms engaging
in unruly turf-war. Evolving his surface as a highly textured topography, Bradford uses gesture and mark-making to encapsulate the dissonance and excitement of a metropolitan landscape.
Mark Bradford
White Painting


Mixed media, collage on canvas

259 x 366 cm
Mark Bradford’s abstractions unite high art and popular culture as unorthodox tableaux of unequivocal beauty. Working in both paint and collage, Bradford incorporates elements from daily life into his canvases such as remnants of found posters and billboards and hairdresser’s permanent endpapers. In White Painting, Bradford uses paper exclusively to replicate the effect of paint. Scratching and sanding through the layers to reveal strata of colours and embedded
images, his palimpsest surface draws connotations to both abstract expressionism and street art, recontextualising the sublime traditions of high art with an urban flair that’s explosively

Other Resources
A list of alternative images and information on Mark Bradford
Ready to Watch; Mark Bradford
Angeleno artists are popping up all over Chelsea, and they’re certainly well represented in this Biennial. Mark Bradford makes collaged Mondrian-esque grids from strips of posters he picks up on the streets of South L.A.—paying homage to the sprawl of his city and the cacophony of ours.
Cirrus is pleased to exhibit two recent editions of monoprints by Mark Bradford. Mark approaches printmaking as he does his paintings, creating layers from source material which relates to his local environment. - Mark Bradford at Lombard-Freidby Sarah Valdez
A Los Angeles-based hairdresser and self-described "beauty operator" who also earned his MFA from Cal Arts, Mark Bradford garnered quick fame for his alluring collages on canvas of singed hair-permanent endpapers (the small rectangles of transparent paper used by hairstylists) that appeared in "Freestyle," the 2001 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem of up-and-coming African-American artists. - Mark Bradford at Finesilver - San Antonioby Frances Colpitt
Mark Bradford's exhibition, "That Wasn't My Car You Saw," included five large paintings and a relieflike grid of 265 units of layered and burnt permanent-wave end papers spaced a few inches apart on the wall. With their crispy black edges, the little translucent rectangles comprising this untitled piece (all works 2002) resemble singed bits of onion.
Additional links and information - Mark Bradford