Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford

Layers of Violence

“I pillage my own work. I tear it down and build it up in traces.” Let us introduce you to American painter Mark Bradford, who doesn’t use traditional paint but material “that has something to do with the social fabric of the times we live in.”

“From a distance it looks like paint. As you move closer you begin to realise that it’s not paint, but it’s not actually collage. It’s an amalgamation of materials that cling to the city.” Instead of paint, Bradford uses liquefied paper, which shares similarities with paint. He uses billboard paper from the streets or building material from any building supply store. Instead of “looking in,” which he finds to be typical of modernist painting, Bradford has chosen to “look out.”

Bradford feels that his way of working on canvasses is aggressive, even violent: “It’s like tearing into the body. It’s very physical. It’s like if I just took my hand and reached in and pulled out the heart and then yanked it out.”

Mark Bradford (b. 1961) is an American painter. One of Bradford’s concerns is improving society with his art as well as through a number of social projects. His work can be found in prominent international venues such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, REDCAT in Los Angeles and Saatchi Gallery in London. In 2014 Bradford was presented with the US Department of State’s Medal of Arts. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Mark Bradford was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at his studio in Los Angeles, California in January 2016.

Camera: Jakob Solbakken
Edited by: Miriam Nielsen
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016

  • Clemens Setz

    When and Where I Write

    Austrian writer Clemens Setz says he is “very vulnerable” in the early hours of the morning and cuts off all incoming noise from the outside world. Those are “the perfect working hours” for him. Find out why in this short video.

  • Claudio Magris

    Europe and the Open Sea

    “The Mediterranean Sea is becoming a frontier and not a liquid bridge,” says Claudio Magris, leading cultural philosopher of our time. But the sea is many things: bearer of history, great discoveries and the love for his late wife.

  • William Kentridge

    on 'The Refusal of Time'

    How can we get a hold of time with our body and mind? This question is the crux of South African artist William Kentridge’s immersive installation ’The Refusal of Time.’ Join the artist for a detailed tour of his pulsing, breathtaking work.

  • Chigozie Obioma

    Everything We Do is Preordained

    Award-winning Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma calls his debut novel ‘The Fishermen’ “an Igbo version of a tragedy.” Meet the author and hear about his modern day metaphor of “the paradox that is Nigeria.”

  • Mette Winckelmann

    Woman to Woman

    ”You must evaluate whether the system you’re part of could be effectuated differently.” Meet artist Mette Winckelmann, who believes that abstract painting communicates deeper than language, and explore her visual take on gender politics.

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Jonas Hassen Khemiri

    On Facing the Blank Page

    For Swedish author and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri facing the blank page is always “a kind of revenge.” Hear why the acclaimed author – who has been praised by Joyce Carol Oates – considers starting anew as a chance to do even better.

  • Marina Abramović

    On Giacometti

    Marina Abramović has always felt a connection to the work of artist Alberto Giacometti: “It’s like a meteorite coming out of another galaxy where all the matter inside is condensed.” Watch her engage with Giacometti’s iconic sculptures.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Adam Caruso

    Novelty is nonsense

    "The European city is one of the great human inventions!” Adam Caruso advocates building with a deep sense of history and tradition. Meet the architect behind the award-winning Tate Britain conversion and numerous Gagosian galleries.

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    A World of Collage

    Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn juxtaposes pixelated images from the media. His works are not about technology, says the artist: “I try to give form to what I can’t accept: that someone else can decide for me what I should do, see or think.”

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    On Donald Trump

    Jonathan Safran Foer, star of American literature, offers interesting views on America’s new president and the consequences Trump will have on American culture. "The place for literature may be even more important than before," he says.