Tomorrow is Another Day
Mark Bradford is known for abstract paintings and collage-based works that incorporate layers of social and personal commentary. Tomorrow Is Another Day features paintings and a sculpture that bring back materials used earlier in his career. There are also some new discoveries and an existing video work that gains new relevance in the current political climate. They are presented as a multilayered narrative that intertwines his personal experience and social history and that progresses through the building.
The exhibition is born out of his commitment to the inherently social nature of the material world. 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. His concern for marginalized people, both their vulnerability and their resiliency, and the cyclical threat and hope of American unfulfilled social promise will be reflected in his works. 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.
The engagement of Mark Bradford with social issues also continues in Venice, as he signed up for a six-year collaboration with the social cooperative Rio Terà dei Pensieri. This organization provides employment opportunities to male and female prisoners in Venice. These prisoners will create artisanal goods and other products to support 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. You will be able to buy their goods at a store located in San Polo 2559a.
After the Art Biennale, the exhibition will be on view at The Baltimore Museum of Art from September 2018 through January 2019.
“Mark has a virtuosic ability to make art that speaks to, and for everyone. Tomorrow Is Another Day is the ultimate manifestation of his generous and democratic vision of art and the world. Not only has he created some of his most spectacular and ambitious work to date, but he also reveals the greatest extremes of his vision—the darkest and most joyful we have ever seen from him.”
Katy Siegel, curator
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.
His work has been widely exhibited and has been shown in solo exhibitions (such as Scorched Earth at the Hammer Museum (2015), Sea Monsters at the Rose Art Museum (2014)), as well as 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). 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.
“Tomorrow Is Another Day is the culmination of my personal and artistic process leading up to this incredible moment of representing the United States, but it also addresses the difficulties experienced by so many others who are trying to create foundations for themselves and find their footing. The exhibition is not just about me, but about all of those who feel like they’re on the periphery. My collaboration with Rio Terà dei Pensieri is an essential part of my process, creating sustainable platforms for people who don’t have these opportunities.”
The United States pavilion in Giardini is a Palladian-style structure built in 1930 by the well-known architects William Adams Delano and Chester Holmes Aldrich. In 1986, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation purchased the US Pavilion from the Museum of Modern Art, New York with funds provided by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board. Since 1986 the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has worked with the United States Information Agency (USIA), the US Department of State and the Fund for Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions in the organization of the visual arts exhibitions at the US Pavilion, while the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has organized the comparable shows at the Architecture Biennales.
Viva Arte Viva
The United States is very well represented at the ‘Viva Arte Viva exhibition’ of Christine Macel, with 18 artists on a total of 120: Charles Atlas, McArthur Binion, Sam Gilliam, Anna Halprin, Sheila Hicks, Dawn Kasper, Sam Lewitt, Dan Miller, Peter Miller, Senga Nengudi, Eileen Quinlan, Rachel Rose, Judith Scott, Nancy Shaver, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Frances Stark, Michelle Stuart, John Waters.
Review by The Venice Insider
The pavilion of the United States plays on your perception right from the start. First, you have to use the small side door instead of the main entrance. As soon as you entered, you’re confronted with a huge installation (Spoiled Foot) which blocks the room almost completely. When you have to walk against the wall to pass it, you get the impression that you aren’t supposed to be there. It is certainly a way to attract the attention to the installation of Mark Bradford. The next rooms show a few large and colourful paintings and two additional installations. The last installation (Saturn Returns), a painted decoration on the ceiling of the small connecting room, made me think of the pantheon in Rome.
Mark Bradford is known for his social engagement. In Venice, he supports a project which employs the prisoners of the city. Unfortunately, besides the brochure at the entrance, there is no reference to the project inside the pavilion. They also don’t sell these handmade bags, so you can only buy them in the city center.
The United States pavilion is one of my favourites and is therefore one of the 8 pavilions you cannot miss at the Art Biennale 2017.
Katia – The Venice Insider
If you want to know more about the Art Biennale 2017 and the other national participations, this overview page is a good starting point or you can read my post ‘What to expect from the Art Biennale 2017′. If you want to be informed about new pavilions being added to the site, you can subscribe to The Venice Insider biweekly newsletter.
(Picture in banner: Mark Bradford, Father You Have Murdered Me, 2012. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; Purchased with funds from Mortimer & Sara Hays Acquisition Fund and the Rose Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist.)
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