March 8 – August 9, 2020
Mark Bradford: End Papers, on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through August 9, focuses on the key material and fundamental motif the artist employed early in his career and has returned to periodically over the past two decades: end papers.
Bradford learned to use end papers as a hairdresser in his mother’s beauty salon in Los Angeles. These small sheets of translucent paper protect hair from overheating in the process of using curlers to create permanent waves. Part painting and part collage, the colored End Paper works feature grids with various hues that pulsate across the surface. Bradford has said, “I learned my own way of constructing paintings through the End Papers—how to create space, how to use color. And how to provide a new kind of content. They were the beginning for me.”
Bradford’s End Paper works not only allowed him to make beautiful abstract paintings but inspired the artist’s use of “social papers” that related to his biography and his neighborhood. From the End Papers, Bradford began incorporating merchant posters, broadsides, and even billboards he found in downtown Los Angeles. The exhibition includes approximately 35 major End Paper works drawn from private and public collections and new work created for this presentation. Mark Bradford: End Papers is curated by Michael Auping, former chief curator of the Modern.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107. 817-738-9215, www.themodern.org.
On a clear day, I can usually see all the way to Watts, 2001 (detail). Mixed media on canvas. 72 × 84 inches. The Bluff Collection. © Mark Bradford
White Girl, 2002. Mixed media on canvas. 95 × 145 inches. Collection of Jim and Irene Karp. © Mark Bradford
Juice, 2003. Mixed media on canvas. 72 × 84 inches. Private Collection. © Mark Bradford. Photo: Charles White