Brandeis curator selects U.S. artist for Venice Biennale

Leading artist to showcase work during world's most prestigious contemporary art event

Photo/Caitlin Julia Rubin

Chris Bedford (Left) and Mark Bradford at the Rose Art Museum

The Rose Art Museum will present the work of leading abstract painter Mark Bradford at La Biennale di Venezia 57th International Art Exhibition, marking the first time the Brandeis University museum has presented at the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that Bradford’s work at the U.S. pavilion will be co-curated by Christopher Bedford, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose, and Katy Siegel, the Rose’s curator at large and the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University.

Bradford, who is known for his work across media that inspires cross-cultural dialogue on social, political and economic issues facing underserved urban communities, will create a new site-specific installation at the U.S. pavilion. It will be on view from May 13 until Nov. 26, 2017.

“The Rose Art Museum is honored to present the work of Mark Bradford as the official United States representative to the 2017 Venice Biennale,” Bedford said. “As the leading American abstract painter of his generation and a vigorous advocate for the interests of under-represented urban communities in the U.S. and beyond, Bradford creates work that embodies art’s capacity to both inspire wonder and catalyze enduring social change.”

Bradford’s work is familiar to visitors to the Rose. In fall 2014, the museum presented “Mark Bradford: Sea Monsters” in the Gerald S. and Sandra Fineberg Gallery. The exhibition featured a suite of major new paintings and sculptures, including a monumental text-based mural created in direct relation to the Rose’s glass-fronted Lois Foster Wing. Bradford is also a member of the Rose’s Board of Advisors.

Bradford was born in 1961 in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. He is 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. His 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.

Bradford’s work has been widely exhibited and has been included in group shows at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the 12th Istanbul Biennial in 2011, the 2010 Seoul Biennial, the 2008 Carnegie International, the 2006 São Paulo Biennial 2006 and the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

The Venice Biennale dates to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. It is one of the most important international biennials and cultural institutions in the world, introducing hundreds of thousands of visitors to exciting new art every two years.

Categories: Arts, International Affairs

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