MODERN ART MUSEUM
The Modern - End Papers
On a clear day, I can usually see all the way to Watts, 2001
Mixed media on canvas
72 × 84 inches
Exhibition on Display: March 8, 2020 - January 10, 2021
By: Mark Bradford
Over the past two decades, Mark Bradford has created monumental works of abstract painting
and collage. This exhibition focuses on the key material and fundamental motif Bradford
employed early in his career and has returned to periodically over the past two decades:
Bradford’s mature work began with his experimentation with end papers while a student at
the California Institute of the Arts in the late 1990s. He had grown up in his mother’s
beauty salon, eventually becoming a hairdresser himself, and was therefore quite familiar
with the small papers used to protect hair from overheating during the process for
permanent waves. Incorporating them into his art was catalytic for Bradford, merging
his abstract painting with materials from his life. The thin, delicate sheets are almost
translucent and create the effect of soft brushstrokes across the surface of his
compositions. Bradford has said, “I learned my own way of constructing paintings through
the End Papers—how to create space, how to use color. And how to provide a new kind of
content. They were the beginning for me. . . . It all began in the beauty salon.”
In addition to his use of end papers, Bradford brings the salon into his art in other
ways. Some titles are snippets of conversations that took place there or relate to
aspects of that environment. For example, Click, 2001, evokes the sound of a curler
locking into place. Many of the colors in these works come from hair dyes, such as in
43G Spring Honey, 2001. The artist’s combinations of colors imbue a dynamic quality of
movement and create an ethereal depth. Over time, the compositions began to resemble
pixelated, aerial maps of greater Los Angeles. Simultaneously, Bradford’s thoughts were
evolving toward things he was seeing outside the salon.
Bradford’s End Paper works inspired his later use of “social papers,” such as
merchant posters, advertising broadsides, and billboards he found in Los Angeles.
By layering these materials, he creates a rich collage of his urban environment.
Ultimately, Bradford’s works are as much about place as materials. As Bradford has
said, “Art materials are always personal. We make them personal. But they are also
connected to something else. In my case, it’s community.”
Bradford continues to extend his reach into his community. In 2013, he (along with
philanthropist Eileen Harris Norton and activist Allan DiCastro) established Art +
Practice, a nonprofit organization based in the Leimert Park area of LA that provides
resources for underprivileged youth while encouraging their creativity.
This exhibition is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and curated by
Michael Auping, the museum’s former chief curator. Lead exhibition support for Mark
Bradford: End Papers is generously provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Major
support is provided by Hauser & Wirth and the Fort Worth Tourism Public Improvement
District, with additional support from Suzanne McFayden.
The Modern - FOCUS: Marina Adams
Acrylic on linen
98 x 78 in.
Exhibition on Display: November 6, 2020 - January 10, 2021
By: Marina Adams
Contemporary artist Marina Adams will show seven energetic abstract paintings from the
past four years that are immersive in scale, as well as recent small gouache works on
paper. Adams explores the relationship between color and shape in her acrylic-on-linen
paintings, where organic forms of solid color abut and interlock. Her work balances
organization and improvisation; she sketches out her compositions before she paints,
but there is an immediacy made obvious by loose, confident brushstrokes, where drips
and bands of color overlap.
Though abstract, Adams's paintings are rooted in textile design and architecture. As
she stated in a Brooklyn Rail interview, "Pattern is a language that crosses boundaries.
It offers common ground." As similar patterns have historically been found in far-flung
locations not likely to have been in contact, it is clear certain designs are elemental
and primal, and in these synchronicities, as she says, "we find how we're alike, as opposed
to always thinking about how we're different."
Literature and history also play important roles in Adams's work, especially in her use
of referential titles. For example, Cheops, 2018, which is included in this exhibition,
refers to the ancient Egyptian pharaoh for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was built, and
the painting's composition echoes pyramidal forms. Such references offer viewers a literary
path of entry into her art.
About The Modern Art Museum
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is dedicated to collecting, presenting, and interpreting international developments in post - World War II art in all media and creating a welcoming environment for its public appreciation. The Modern promotes understanding and interest in art and artists through curatorial research and publications, and a variety of educational programs, including lectures, guided tours, classes, and workshops.
The collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is comprised of nearly 3,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, and prints. The majority of works in the collection are dated between 1945 and the present. All major, international movements are represented, including Abstract Expressionism; British, German, French, and American Pop; Color Field Painting; Minimalism; Conceptualism; Post-Minimalism; New Image Painting, and Neo - Expressionism. Pop and Minimalism are particularly strong, as is German art of the 1970s and 1980s.
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