Bradford was born and raised in South Los Angeles. He later attended Crescent Heights Elementary School. His mother Janice owned a beauty salon in Leimert Park. Bradford and his family moved to a then largely white neighborhood in Santa Monica when he was 11, but his mother still maintained her business in the old neighborhood where he also worked for a while. When he got out of high school, he got his hairdresser’s license and went to work at his mother’s salon.

Bradford began his studies at the California Institute of the Arts in 1991 at the age of 30. He earned a BFA in 1995 and an MFA in 1997.

Bradford is known for grid-like abstract paintings combining collage with paints. His collage Orbit (2007), contains a magazine image of a basketball placed at the heart of a dense lattice of black LA streets. Created by the additive and subtractive processes of collage and décollage, as well as with paint, Orbit appears like aerial views of contorting, mutating, and decaying city whose tiny, intricate street grids can no longer maintain their structural integrity against unknown epic forces. Bradford’s improvisational command of these large areas is also able to suggest the formidable energies of mass consumption and, perhaps more important, its counterpart, the mass generation of trash.

Mark Bradford
Los Angeles, 1961

Current Exhibitions

Agnes Martin and Mark Bradford: On a Clear Day

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

18 Jul — 17 Nov
The installation combines the works by American artists Agnes Martin (1912–2004) and Mark Bradford (b. 1961) who share a deep commitment to exploring observation and memory through abstraction. In their practice,...

More / Less

de la Cruz Collection

01 Dec — 30 Nov
More / Less groups works by several international contemporary artists, produced during the last thirty years. The exhibition wants to investigate shifts in contemporary visual culture creating a mutual dialogue between...

Upcoming Exhibitions

Mark Bradford: Cerberus

Hauser & Wirth London
01/10/2019 — 21/12/2019

Past Exhibitions

Mark Bradford at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong

Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong
26/03/2018 — 12/05/2018

Never Free to Rest

11/11/2017 — 16/12/2017

Face and Form

de la Cruz Collection
01/12/2017 — 30/11/2018

Progressive Praxis

de la Cruz Collection
29/11/2016 — 29/11/2017

Mark Bradford: Receive Calls on Your Cell Phone From Jail

Contemporary Art Museum St Louis 06/05/2016 — 14/08/2016

Solo Shows

Hauser & Wirth, ‘Mark Bradford: New Works’, Los Angeles CA
Hauser & Wirth, ‘Mark Bradford’, Hong Kong, China
Baltimore Museum of Art, ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’, Baltimore MD

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, ‘Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge’, Washington DC
La Biennale di Venezia, US Pavilion, ‘Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day’, Venice, Italy
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, ‘Darkness Made Visible: Derek Jarman and Mark Bradford’, Boston MA
Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still Museum, ‘Shade: Clyfford Still/ Mark Bradford’, Denver CO

Contemporary Art Museum, ‘Mark Bradford: Receive Calls on Your Cell Phone From Jail’, St. Louis MO
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, ‘Shade: Clyfford Still/ Mark Bradford’ Buffalo NY

Hauser & Wirth, ‘Be Strong Boquan’, New York NY
The Rockbund Art Museum, ‘Tears of a Tree’, Shanghai, China
Gemeentemuseum den Haag, ‘Mark Bradford: Sea Monsters’, The Hague, Netherlands (Travelling exhibition)
Hammer Museum, ‘Scorched Earth’, Los Angeles CA
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, ‘Mark Bradford / MATRIX 172‘, Hartford CT

Hauser & Wirth, ‘My Head Became a Rock’, Zurich, Switzerland
The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, ‘Mark Bradford: Sea Monsters’, Waltham MA
(Travelling exhibition) White Cube, ‘New Work’, Hong Kong, China
White Cube, ‘Mark Bradford’, Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles Airport, ‘Bell Tower’, Los Angeles CA (Special Commission)

White Cube, ‘Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank’, London, England

Rubin Gallery, University of Texas, ‘With that ass, they won’t look at your eyes’, El Paso TX
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ‘Mark Bradford’, San Francisco CA (Travelling exhibition) Sikkema Jenkins, ‘Mark Bradford’, New York NY

Group Shows

Peabody Essex Museum, ‘Playtime’, Salem MA
Foundation Louis Vuitton, ‘In Tune with the World’, Paris, France

Kurimanzutto, ‘Never Free To Rest’, Mexico City, Mexico
National Gallery of Canada, ‘2017 Canadian Biennial’, Ottawa, Canada
Art Gallery of Alberta, ‘Turbulent Landings: The NGC 2017 Canadian Biennial’, Edmonton, Canada
Louis Vuitton Foundation, ‘Etre moderne: Le MoMA à Paris, 1929-2017’, Paris, France
Carnegie Museum of Art, ‘20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art’, Pittsburgh PA
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, ‘Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection’, New Orleans LA
Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940 – 2017’, New York NY
Dallas Museum of Art, ‘24 frames per second’, Dallas TX Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
‘Urban Planning: Contemporary Art in the City 1967–2017’, St. Louis MO Birmingham Museum of Art, ‘Third Space /shifting conversations about contemporary art’, Birmingham AL
The Broad, ‘Oracle’, Los Angeles CA

De La Cruz Collection, ‘Progressive Praxis’, Miami FL
SFMOMA, ‘The Campaign for Art’, San Francisco CA
Los Angeles Nomadic Division at the Mona Bismark American Center
‘Wasteland’, Paris, France Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
‘Statements: African American Art from the Museum’s Collection’, Houston TX

Hauser & Wirth, ‘Salon d’Hiver’, Zurich, Switzerland
FLAG Art Foundation, ‘Surface Tension’, New York NY
ICA Boston MA, ‘Transcending Material’, Boston MA
The Warehouse, ‘Geometries On and Off the Grid: Art from 1950 to the Present’, Dallas TX
The Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘America is Hard to See’, New York NY Urban Arts Space, Ohio State University
‘Open this End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne’, Columbus OH
Sharjah Art Foundation, ‘Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible’ Sharjah, UAE
University of Arkansas Fine Arts Centre Gallery, ‘Any Given Sunday,’ Fayetteville AR
Broad Art Museum, ‘The Inaugural Installation’, Los Angeles CA

Void, ‘Civil Rights’, Derry, Northern Ireland LACMA Los Angeles
County Museum of Art, ‘Variations: Conversations In and Around Abstract Painting’, Los Angeles CA
Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, ‘Misled by Nature / Contemporary Art and the Baroque’, Toronto, Canada
Contemporary Arts Center, ’30 Americans’, New Orleans LA
De la Cruz Collection, ‘From the Collection: Looking at Process’, Miami FL
LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ‘Fútbol: The Beautiful Game’, Los Angeles CA
Rubell Family Collection, ‘To Have and to Hold’, Miami FL
Palm Springs Art Museum, ‘California Dreamin’: Thirty Years of Collecting’, Palm Springs FL

Gemeente Museum, ‘Transforming the Known: Works from The Bert Kreuk Collection’, The Hauge, Netherlands
Wexner Center for the Arts, ‘Blues for Smoke’, Columbus OH (Travelling Exhibition) White Cube, ‘The Gesture and the Sign’, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘Blues for Smoke’, New York NY (Travelling Exhibition) Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘In Parts’, New York NY

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Los Angeles Country of birth: USA Date of birth: 1961 Lives in: Los Angeles