Courtesy Mark Bradford/Hauser & Wirth/Brandon Hicks, Time Magazine.
Mark Bradford (b. 1961 in Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles) is a contemporary artist best known for his large-scale abstract paintings created out of paper.
Characterized by its layered formal, material, and conceptual complexity, Bradford’s work explores social and political structures that objectify marginalized communities and the bodies of vulnerable populations.
Mark Bradford may be best known for working in abstraction, but the L.A.-based artist is committed to thinking through how to change the art world—and the world at large—in concrete, tangible ways.
Nearly a decade ago, Bradford co-founded the nonprofit Art + Practice in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Leimert Park with the simple idea that residents of the community shouldn’t have to travel far from home to see exciting and engaging art.
More recently he has been thinking through how arts education can build community and be a tool to shed light on larger societal issues. As part of a collaboration with the education-focused nonprofit PILAglobal, Bradford and his gallery Hauser & Wirth will launch a new initiative, the Education Lab LA project, that will be centered at the gallery’s location in downtown Los Angeles
“Mark has always understood the impact that creative expression has on young children, particularly those experiencing tremendous adversity,” PILAglobal’s CEO Lindsay Weissert told ARTnews.
The project involves a close collaboration with 17 high school students from the Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (often referred to as Grand Arts) which is just over a mile from the gallery.
In selecting Grand Arts, Bradford said he was particularly drawn to “the diversity of its student body and its role within the local community of downtown L.A.”
The students and teacher group from Ramón C. Cortines, Grand Arts High School of Visual and Performing Arts at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles.
©2022 SARAH M. GOLONKA | SMG PHOTOGRAPHY/COURTESY HAUSER & WIRTH
The Education Lab LA project is divided into two parts.
This past spring, the students began a series of workshops with various departments at Hauser & Wirth to learn more about how a contemporary art gallery—particularly one on the scale of Hauser & Wirth—operates.
In addition to a studio visit with Bradford, some of the workshops have included a social media skills course by the marketing and communications team, a demonstration on the basics of art handling and installation by the tech team,
and one in which students virtually curated an art exhibition in tandem with both the sales and operations teams.
Over the summer, the students will work with Bradford and the teams at PILA global and Hauser & Wirth to create a visual arts project highlighting the refugee crisis and its impact. That work, which will go on view beginning July 16, will live in the gallery’s north breezeway, where large-scale installations are often mounted, as well as an installation in the gallery’s Book and Printed Matter Lab.
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