Date(s) - Sep 27
The Hammer Museum
Comprising a suite of new paintings, a multimedia installation, and a major painting on the Lobby Wall, this new body of work by the Los Angeles–based artist Mark Bradford refers to formative moments in his life and ruminations on the body in crisis. As an artist who has long been interested in strategies of mapping and the psychogeography of the city he calls home, Bradford uses his characteristic painting style to excavate the terrain— emotional, political and actual—that he inhabits. Examining the moment and afterlife of the 1992 uprisings in Los Angeles, which he experienced from his studio in Leimert Park, Bradford has translated the outrage and lasting wounds of the riots into these new paintings. Scorched Earth is Bradford’s first solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles.
The multimedia installation Spiderman (2015) incorporates tropes of Black American stand-up comedy, inspired in part by Eddie Murphy’s searing commentary on sexuality in his controversial 1983 concert film Delirious. The Lobby Wall features a map of HIV diagnoses in the United States as of 2009. The work was created using Bradford’s signature process of excavating through layers of paint and drywall and topography. Bradford’s early identification as an artist emerging in the mid-1980s was informed by queer and feminist politics during the developing AIDS crisis. With these works, he explodes the deep cultural fears and misrepresentations that misconceive of black identity and gender as one-dimensional, providing a trenchant critique of pervasive cultural racism and homophobia in society as a whole. On view through Sunday, September 27.