LA artist MARK BRADFORD’s Scorched Earth at the Hammer Museum

I’ve always loved Mark Bradford’s abstract paintings.   I first learned about him years ago when I was speaking with an art collector who told me she and her husband were going to knock out a wall in their home to make space for a Mark Bradford painting.  That blew me away, so I knew I had to find out more.

He’s a graduate of CalArts, has received several art grants and fellowships, and has exhibited in several museums around the country.  That all sounds so technical.  To “keep it real” – when you see his work in person, it pulls you in, engulfs you, shakes you, moves you.

Scorched Earth is Mark Bradford’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.  Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum, says, “This exhibition situates Mark’s work within the political and social contexts that are fundamental to his practice.” (Ann Philbin continues to get great exhibitions for the museum, and so glad Mark’s solo is one of them!)

Maybe it is his interest and passion for social activism that attracts me to his work so much, or maybe because it’s just fascinating to look at.  Again, there can be all kinds of art speak here.  How boring.  Art moves you or it doesn’t.  It pulls you in, or it doesn’t.  Mark’s work pulls you in.  He is saying something and it’s up to you as the viewer to interpret what you want to interpret.  Let it strike a chord. Or let it penetrate throughout. It’s memorable stuff. And if I had a wall to knock out to build a bigger one for one of his pieces, I most definitely would.

Oh, and Scorched Earth was curated by the fabulous, and yes indeed, I mean fabulous Connie Butler who has curated some of my favorite contemporary art exhibitions (intentionally omitting art speak here).

Scorched Earth opens to the public at the Hammer Museum on Saturday, June 20th and runs through September 27th.

If you haven’t visited the Hammer yet, it’s time to do so!  It’s a beautiful building located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood. http://www.hammer.ucla.edu – parking $3. Hours: Tues-Fri, 11 am – 8 pm, Sat/Sun, 11-5.

Wish I had my own photos, but here are some that I’m allowed to share:

Mark Bradford in his studio
Mark Bradford in his studio

2847_7-mark_bradford_8402-9984SmiteMark-Bradford Scorched EarthMark Bradford talking about Scorched Earth (June 2015)

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