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 in Venice. Photo by Christopher Bedford.jpg
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.
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.
Christopher Bedford, U.S. Pavilion Commissioner and Co-Curator
Christopher Bedford and Mark Bradford at the ope…eis University.jpg
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.
Mark Bradford, Father You Have Murdered Me, 201… of the artist.jpg
THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 95,000 objects—including the largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse. Throughout the museum, visitors will find an outstanding selection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; works by established and emerging contemporary artists; significant artworks from China; stunning Antioch mosaics; and an exceptional collection of art from Africa. The BMA’s galleries also showcase examples from one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs and exquisite textiles from around the world. The 210,000-square-foot museum is distinguished by a grand historic building designed in the 1920s by renowned American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped sculpture gardens. As a major cultural destination for the region, the BMA hosts a dynamic program of exhibitions, events, and educational programs throughout the year. General admission to the BMA is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.
The Rose Art Museum. Photo by Mike Lovett – Bra…eis University.jpg
THE ROSE ART MUSEUM AT BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University is among the nation’s premier university museums dedicated to 20th and 21st century art. A center of cultural and intellectual life on campus, the museum serves as a living textbook for object-based learning, a home and resource for artists, and a catalyst for artistic expression, scholarly innovation, and the production of new knowledge through art. With its international collections, changing exhibitions, and diverse public programs, the Rose affirms and advances the values of freedom of expression, academic excellence, global diversity, and social justice that are the hallmarks of Brandeis University.
Founded in 1948, Brandeis University is named for the late Louis D. Brandeis, the distinguished associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, and reflects his ideals of academic excellence and social justice. The only nonsectarian Jewish-founded institution of higher learning in the United States, Brandeis is one of the world’s youngest private research universities. Located west of Boston, Brandeis’ distinguished faculty are dedicated to the education and support of 3,600 undergraduates and more than 2,000 graduate students. It has been ranked among the top 35 national universities by U.S. News & World Report every year since the rankings’ inception.
The Rose Art Museum and The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, will present Mark Bradford as the representative for the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 57th International Art Exhibition, on view from May 13 to November 26, 2017.
Los Angeles-based Bradford, a leading light in contemporary art, will create new works in a variety of media—presented alongside existing work—for Tomorrow Is Another Day, co-curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director and commissioner for the project; and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Programming and Research Curator.
In conjunction with the U.S. Pavilion exhibition, Bradford will embark on a six-year collaboration with Venice social cooperative nonprofit Rio Terà dei Pensieri, which provides employment opportunities to men and women incarcerated in Venice to create artisanal goods and other products and supports their re-integration into society. Titled Process Collettivo, the Rio Terà dei Pensieri/Bradford collaboration aims to launch a sustainable longterm program that brings awareness to both the penal system and the success of the social cooperative model. A storefront, located in the heart of Venice, will be the initial manifestation of the collaboration, which will be open to the public in April 2017.
Mark Bradford is known for abstract paintings and collage-based works that recapture mid-century American art’s capacity to conjure the sublime and evoke deep feeling, while incorporating layers of social and personal commentary. In parallel with his studio work, Bradford is deeply engaged with social issues, as co-founder of Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization Art + Practice, which encourages education and culture by supporting the needs of foster youth predominantly living in South Los Angeles, and providing access to free, museum-curated art exhibitions and moderated art lectures to the community of Leimert Park. The artist’s equivalent commitments to formal intervention and social activism anchor his contribution to culture at large, and embody his belief that contemporary artists can reinvent the world we share.
The U.S. Pavilion exhibition Tomorrow Is Another Day will reflect Bradford’s interest in renewing traditions of abstract and materialist painting, as well as his longtime social and intellectual interests, most notably in marginalized populations. For the five galleries of the U.S. Pavilion, Bradford will create a multilayered narrative that progresses through the building’s spaces and reflects the artist’s belief in the capacity of art to expose contradictory histories and inspire action in the present day.
Mark Bradford. Courtesy of the artist.jpg
Tomorrow is Another Day is not only a catalogue for Mark Bradford’s representation of the United States at the Arte Biennale 2017; it is a different kind of book. This substantial publication blends the biographical with the historical and political. The interwoven stories in the book are eloquently told through vivid archival photographs and documents as well as by a chorus of compelling voices from across contemporary culture. The book also includes a lengthy, revealing, and in-depth interview with Mark Bradford himself. Tomorrow is Another Day makes a significant and important contribution to our understanding of the work and practice of one of today’s most influential contemporary artists and at the same time explores urgent and timely issues that art — and artists — can powerfully address.
Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day
Texts by Chris Bedford, Katy Siegel, and others
9.4375 x 11.875 in 232 pages
Fully illustrated $60.00
Publication date: May 2017
La Biennale di Venezia is the oldest and most prestigious international exhibition of contemporary visual art in the world. Often referred to as the Olympics of the art world, the event dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. Since then, millions of visitors have been introduced 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:
Christopher Bedford and Mark Bradford installing B…in Julia Rubin.jpg
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.