Life and work
He studied at the California Institute of the Arts, located at Valencia, California, U.S., earning an MFA in 1997 and a BFA in 1995. He is known for grid-like abstract paintings combining collage with paints.
Bradford’s 2007 collage "Orbit", contains a magazine image of a basketball placed at the heart of a dense lattice of black LA streets. Created by the additive and subtractive processes of collage and décollage, as well as with paint, Orbit appears like aerial views of contorting, mutating, and decaying city whose tiny, intricate street grids can no longer maintain their structural integrity against unknown epic forces. Bradford’s improvisational command of these large areas is also able to suggest the formidable energies of mass consumption and, perhaps more important, its counterpart, the mass generation of trash.
Bradford's "A Truly Rich Man is One Whose Children Run into His Arms Even When His Hands Are Empty" (2008), nearly 9 feet wide and 9 feet tall, according to Maxwell Heller in The Brooklyn Rail, "calls to mind the charred and shattered windshields of cars burned in riots—black, webbed with streaks of light, sleek. If studied section by section, it offers traces of the artist’s sensual, tactile process, revealing delicate layers of found material sliced and sanded, lacquered and pasted until transformed."
He has exhibited in the Sao Paulo Biennial (2006), Whitney Biennial (2006), Liverpool Biennial (2006), ARCO 2003 in Madrid, In Site at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, USA Today at the Royal Academy in London, Street Level The Los Angeles Times newspaper insert of "West" magazine featured an eight page article on him, June 11, 2006.(2007) at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University (2010), Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2011), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2011), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012). Bradford has participated in the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012). September, 2013 - Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, suspends Mark Bradford’s "Bell Tower" structure above the security screening area.
He currently resides in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California.
He has won the Bucksbaum Award (2006), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2003), the Nancy Graves Foundation Grant (2002) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. Most recently, he was a 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship (also called the "MacArthur Genius Award"). In 2013, Bradford was elected into the National Academy of Design.
- Heller, Maxwell (February 2011). "The Mark Bradford Show". The Brooklyn Rail.
- "Mark Bradford". Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
- "Mark Bradford", Life on Mars, 5.3.08-1.11.09
- Biography, interviews, essays, artwork images and video clips from PBS series Art:21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century - Season 4 (2007).
- The Saatchi Gallery; About Mark Bradford and his art Additional information on Mark Bradford including artworks, text panels, articles, and full biography.
- Cirrus Gallery Biography of Mark Bradford.
- Youtube interview Mark Bradford video interview as part of the Street Level exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
- Street Level Exhibition and catalogue at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University featuring and in-depth look at the work of Mark Bradford. Catalogue edited by Trevor Schoonmaker.
- Pinocchio is on fire Artist's webpage