Thematic focus

Feeling and Form in Mark Bradford’s American Pavilion

Larne Abse Gogarty

Published online:

18 Dec 2018

Abstract

Abstract

Mark Bradford describes his practice as “social abstraction”, defined as “abstract art with a social or political context clinging to the edges”. The article addresses Bradford’s exhibition Tomorrow is Another Day at the American Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale and considers the artist’s claim through the critical reception of his work alongside central debates within the history of modernism. It then explores how dispossession and racialization can be figured in relation to modernist myths such as the grid. Finally, in addressing the “social” in Bradford’s practice, the study questions the collaboration Bradford embarked on with Rio Terà dei Pensieri, an organisation supporting the reintegration of prisoners and people under criminal judgment in Venice, arguing that the reformism of that project cuts against Bradford’s use of myth as a mode of resistance.

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