This early work by Mark Bradford uses layered end-papers—a tool for achieving a “perm,” familiar to Bradford, as a former hairdresser—thereby subtly referring to the cultural significance of the hair salon in African American communities. Here, the end-papers become the main component for an abstract pattern. The resulting composition vibrates with a formal rhythm, while the shapes are eerily reminiscent of nooses.
Bradford works primarily in abstract painting and mixed-media collage, incorporating everyday detritus such as fragments of newsprint, flyers, or materials from hair salons. Though largely abstract, his works nonetheless explore the ramifications of class, race, and gender. In recent work his forms seem to suggest maps or aerial views, in line with investigations of race riots, real-estate redlining, and gentrification.
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Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frank L. Babbott, Jr., by exchange
© Mark Bradford
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Mark Bradford (American, born 1961). Untitled, 2003. Lithograph, 32 x 32 in. (81.3 x 81.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frank L. Babbott, Jr., by exchange, 2004.18. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2004.18_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2004.18_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2017
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