426
426
Mark Bradford
EXODUS
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 2,175,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
426
Mark Bradford
EXODUS
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 2,175,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Mark Bradford
B. 1961
EXODUS
signed, titled and dated 2006 on the reverse
mixed media collage on canvas
48 by 60 in. 121.9 by 152.4 cm.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Private Collection (acquired from the above)
Private Collection, Los Angeles (acquired from the above)

Catalogue Note

"I may pull the raw material from a very specific place, culturally from a particular place, but then I abstract it. I’m only really interested in abstraction; but social abstraction, not just the 1950s abstraction. The painting practice will always be a painting practice but we’re living in a post-studio world, and this has to do with the relationship with things that are going on outside."
Mark Bradford

In Mark Bradford’s 2006 composition, Exodus, the modernist grid seems to have strayed from its linear path. The quasi-rectangular forms that emerge in bold outlines across the predominantly red surface gesture towards visual order, but this undergirding framework is visibly skewed.

Throughout some sections, Bradford’s rectilinear shapes veer off their axes into radial patterns, while others are swallowed up by black patches, creating voids within the picture plane. Bradford’s richly textured collage offers a glimmer of insight to its physical makeup—along one edge, the surface gives way to what lies beneath—some revealing fragments of bright color, a snippet of text among the strata of found paper. Bradford’s wary grid provides a sort of Rosetta Stone to his abstract field of representation. He gestures subtly towards maps, aerial views, and visions of a city.

Exodus is a strong example of Bradford’s early phase of multimedia collages. Often large in scale, astutely abstract, and intricately materialized, Bradford’s collages mark his stoic entanglement with the tradition of modernist painting. He even refers to the works as paintings—though critics are quick to point out that there is actually very little paint involved in these complex compositions.

The material that makes up the many layers of Bradford’s work is mostly found or repurposed paper: fragments of billboards rescued from the streets of South Central Los Angeles; found “merchant papers,” as Bradford has coined street flyers and posters that he pulls from construction site barriers and telephone poles; and endpapers—used in styling hair—up-cycled from the salon where Bradford had worked as a hairdresser.

As a Los Angeles native, urbanity, specifically the realities of urban life have informed the very core of his practice both philosophically and aesthetically. Bradford’s artistic arsenal is composed of literal material fragments of urban life and the configurations that result from his distinctive practice. These often allude to the physical makeup of his city, and are seen as an expression of the dense and distinctly metropolitan network of interwoven districts.

These physical materials anchor Bradford’s collages, adding personal, cultural, and geographic elements to the thick accretion atop his canvases. Bradford’s methodology is simultaneously additive and destructive: he builds dense layers of matter only to erode them back. Bradford works quickly and intuitively, while adding and subtracting until he is able to balance the visual and tactile energy of the composition. In the pursuit of this equilibrium, Bradford’s collages evoke both the exhibitionism of Robert Rauschenberg’s works combined with the oppression of Gerhard Richter’s 1990’s era abstractions. Bradford’s dialogue with the material culture and economic realities of his community, aligned with schema of 20th century painting, forge a new chapter within the art historical canon. Bradford codifies the precarious balance of the personal and the universal, which informs the ever-vacillating identity of urbanites.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York