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The Quarantine Paintings draw focus to the purpose art serves when the social milieu that brings bodies and voices into contact with it – and that significantly shapes our experience of it – has been dispersed.
Bradford’s paintings feature gridded structures that appear, disappear, and reappear between broad smears of black caulk or streaks of red, yellow, and orange. Uninterrupted bursts of electrifying color create strobing effects. Gone from these paintings are the hotspots and lesions that have become a familiar feature in Bradford’s work in recent years. Gone are the wads of paper rising from the surface of the canvas and marking discrete locations, the formal analogs to specific real-world acts of violence, disruption, and decay.
Mark Bradford (b. 1961 in Los Angeles) is a contemporary artist known for his large-scale abstract paintings created out of paper. After accumulating layers of various types of paper onto canvas, Bradford excavates their surfaces using power tools to explore economic and social structures that define contemporary subjects. Bradford’s practice includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, printmaking, and other media.