Born in Los Angeles in 1961, Mark Bradford did not begin studying art until the age of thirty. His mother owned a beauty salon where he helped out occasionally. He began his studies at the California Institute of the Arts Valencia in 1991, earning his BFA in 1995 and his MFA in 1997. Bradford’s improvisational grid-like abstract work encompasses video, prints and sculptural installations as well as combining paints and collages.
Being born and raised in an urban environment, Mark Bradford uses materials he scavenges from the street. He transforms them into wall-size collages and installations that correspond to the underground economies, migrant communities and abandoned public areas. In 2013, Mark Bradford co-founded Art + Practice. The organisation engages local 16- to 24-year-olds who are transitioning out of foster care with the arts. In 2017, Bradford will represent the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 57th International Art Exhibition.
Mark Bradford has won acclaim for his art from numerous foundations including the Bucksbaum Award (2006); the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2003); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2002). He has been included in major exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004); and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001). Mark Bradford has participated in the twenty-seventh Bienal de São Paulo (2006); the Whitney Biennial (2006); and “inSite: Art Practices in the Public Domain,” San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico (2005).