MARK BRADFORD: Ágora

Museu de Serralves
26 NOV 2021 - 26 JUN 2022
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EXHIBITION GUIDE


Mark Bradford (Los Angeles, 1961) is acknowledged as one of the names that best defined painting in the last two decades, conceiving his own pictorial language to express universal themes such as the distribution of power within societal structures and its impact on the individual, and the relationship between art and community engagement. Using everyday materials and tools from the aisles of the hardware store, he has created a unique artistic language. Frequently referred to as ‘social abstraction’, Bradford’s work is rooted in his understanding that all materials and techniques are embedded with meaning that precedes their artistic utility. His signature style developed out of his early experimentation with endpapers, the small, translucent tissue papers used in hairdressing; he has since experimented with other types of paper, including maps, billboards, film posters, comic books, and ‘merchant posters’ that advertise predatory services in economically distressed neighbourhoods. Through his rigorous physical approach to the material presence of painting, Bradford has been addressing powerful issues of our time, including the AIDS epidemic, the misrepresentation and fear of queer identity, systemic racism in America and more recently the COVID-19 crisis.


Focused on Bradford’s artistic production of the last three years, for whom the ancient mythology has always been a consistent source of inspiration, the exhibition reveals a new series of paintings, tapestries and works on paper inspired by The Hunt of the Unicorn made in The Netherlands around 1500, and Cerberus, the many-headed dog guarding the entryway to the underworld, suggesting an assessment between current issues and the Middle Ages period (when art fell victim to the plague, that most medieval of dangers). Agora aims to be a space for reflection and discussion of the now, focused on Mark Bradford’s work, turning to the medieval period as a resonant metaphor for contemporary conflicts and social tensions.


Organized by the Serralves Foundation, curated by Philippe Vergne with the support of Filipa Loureiro, Agora aims to be a space for reflection and discussion of the now, focused on Mark Bradford’s work, turning to the medieval period as a resonant metaphor for contemporary conflicts and social tensions.


This exhibition has received the generous support from Shari and Ed Glazer, Gwen Moritz Weil and Hauser & Wirth Gallery.



Image:

© Mark Bradford

Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Photo: Joshua White

On going

Past

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EXHIBITION GUIDE


Mark Bradford (Los Angeles, 1961) is acknowledged as one of the names that best defined painting in the last two decades, conceiving his own pictorial language to express universal themes such as the distribution of power within societal structures and its impact on the individual, and the relationship between art and community engagement. Using everyday materials and tools from the aisles of the hardware store, he has created a unique artistic language. Frequently referred to as ‘social abstraction’, Bradford’s work is rooted in his understanding that all materials and techniques are embedded with meaning that precedes their artistic utility. His signature style developed out of his early experimentation with endpapers, the small, translucent tissue papers used in hairdressing; he has since experimented with other types of paper, including maps, billboards, film posters, comic books, and ‘merchant posters’ that advertise predatory services in economically distressed neighbourhoods. Through his rigorous physical approach to the material presence of painting, Bradford has been addressing powerful issues of our time, including the AIDS epidemic, the misrepresentation and fear of queer identity, systemic racism in America and more recently the COVID-19 crisis.


Focused on Bradford’s artistic production of the last three years, for whom the ancient mythology has always been a consistent source of inspiration, the exhibition reveals a new series of paintings, tapestries and works on paper inspired by The Hunt of the Unicorn made in The Netherlands around 1500, and Cerberus, the many-headed dog guarding the entryway to the underworld, suggesting an assessment between current issues and the Middle Ages period (when art fell victim to the plague, that most medieval of dangers). Agora aims to be a space for reflection and discussion of the now, focused on Mark Bradford’s work, turning to the medieval period as a resonant metaphor for contemporary conflicts and social tensions.


Organized by the Serralves Foundation, curated by Philippe Vergne with the support of Filipa Loureiro, Agora aims to be a space for reflection and discussion of the now, focused on Mark Bradford’s work, turning to the medieval period as a resonant metaphor for contemporary conflicts and social tensions.


This exhibition has received the generous support from Shari and Ed Glazer, Gwen Moritz Weil and Hauser & Wirth Gallery.



Image:

© Mark Bradford

Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Photo: Joshua White