Neither New Nor Correct: New Work by Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford, <i>Kryptonite</i>, collage on paper, 2006. Courtesy The Saatchi Gallery

Neither New Nor Correct, the latest body of work by Season 4 artist Mark Bradford, recipient of the Whitney’s 2006 Bucksbaum Award, is now on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, as of September 14, 2007. With intricate surfaces composed of numerous layers of salvaged paper, Bradford’s most recent large-scale works, made in 2007, will be shown on the Museum’s main floor.

Bradford’s works allude to the physical layers of the metropolitan environment of South Central Los Angeles, where the artist lives and works. Repurposing the advertising posters that he finds built up in layers on walls, windows, and light posts in his neighborhood, Bradford creates collage works of extraordinary impact, exploring the concept of place, and reflecting on the social and economic patterns of his community. Evocative of archeological excavation and the language of maps, these works delve into personal and collective memory, suggesting hidden histories and submerged traces of the past. Bradford’s collages recall the torn-poster works of French affichiste artists such as Raymond Hains and Jacques de la Villeglé, who worked in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s.

For this exhibition at the Whitney, Bradford has created new works that layer advertising posters with string and other collage materials. The artist builds up his surfaces and then sands back into them, revealing hidden depths. Water, which can erase, erode, or act as a medium for mixing disparate elements, becomes a powerful metaphor in this series.

The title of both the exhibition and accompanying catalogue is a comment on the limits of knowledge – or on information that looks plausible, but perhaps isn’t. It refers to a description on an 18th-century map of the world, disingenuously labeled as “new and correct.”

Neither New nor Correct: New Work by Mark Bradford is on view through November 25, 2007 at the Whitney Museum.

As part of Art21 Access ’07, Mark Bradford will speak at the Studio Museum in Harlem on Thursday, October 4, following a screening of the episode in which he is featured, Paradox. Call 212-864-4599 x264 to reserve a space at this special event.