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Inner Workings of a City: Art by Mark Bradford

A painting consisting of collage and lines on a primarily white paintingWhite Painting, mixed media and collage on canvas

Mark Bradford is a multimedia artist based in Los Angeles, California. Bradford’s abstract works are frantic, drippy and feature quick, loose mark-making. His stylistic choices remain constant across mediums, from ink drawings to etchings and paintings. He also creates wall-sized collages, murals and installations. 


An abstract painting expressing a city's appearance from aerial viewKryptonite, mixed media and collage on canvas

While on the surface the artist’s works seem to celebrate the tactility of a given medium, Bradford’s works are also conceptual explorations. Frequently, his works are in direct response to the inner workings of a city, and the way that systems and communities quickly come together and break apart. In the same way that Paul de Guzman's installations celebrate structure through deconstruction, Bradford's paintings evoke the forms of buildings and skylines and the movements and mood of crowds, without explicitly depicting any of these things. I really enjoy how well his abstracted works reflect the hustle and bustle of a large city, capturing a mood and atmosphere through simple yet effective means. 


A complex mixed media abstract made of many small squares of different materialsThe Devil is Beating His Wife, billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, permanent-wave end papers, stencils, and additional mixed media on plywood


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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