Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke, Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth


HoMA is thrilled to welcome one of the most successful, celebrated, and respected contemporary artists, Mark Bradford, to the Doris Duke Theatre stage for a one-night artist’s lecture.

Referred to by Anderson Cooper as “one of the most important and influential artists in America today,” his work is collected by the world’s most prestigious museums. His piece Pickett’s Charge, composed of a sweeping series of murals reimagining the final Battle at Gettysburg, was revered by ArtNet as one of the artworks that defined the decade

Raised by a single mother in the heart of South Los Angeles, Bradford worked as a hairstylist at his mom’s salon. At the age of 30, he decided to take a few art classes at a local community college. There, his natural talents, receptivity, and work ethic parlayed into a back-to-back BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and eventually a modest but evolving career as an artist. At the age of 40, Bradford sold his first painting.

Best known for large-scale abstract paintings reflecting on the urban environment, Bradford’s creations are constructed from just about everything but art supplies that you would buy in a store. From old bathroom caulking to discarded posters and endpapers used for hair perms, his choice of materials strays far from the usual acrylic or oil paint (which he says gives him terrible headaches), and often pay homage to his surroundings while growing up in LA.

Some of Bradford’s most recognizable works such as Whore in the Church House (which will be on display at HoMA in 30 Americans) and Deep Blue (The Broad), demonstrate his signature mastery in layering, collaging, tearing, and sanding-down techniques. A profound aspect of these specific works is his incorporation of maps identifying some of the most socially impactful places and events in history. Unearthed from the many layers in Deep Blue, Bradford maps the properties destroyed in the 1965 Watts riots in response to police brutality in South Los Angeles.

HoMA’s highly anticipated exhibition, 30 Americans, will give viewers a rare chance to see one of Bradford’s most celebrated paintings in person, and hear from the artist himself.

Katherine Love, HoMA’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art states, “Mark Bradford is one of the most successful and respected artists working today. His large scale mixed media paintings and sculptural installations reflect on the urban environment, the passage of time, and the importance of personal and cultural heritage. We are especially excited to have him at HoMA in conjunction with the exhibition 30 Americans. Bradford will lecture on his artistic process, influences, and his work in his Los Angeles community, including support of educational and employment opportunities for young adults.”

Mark Bradford: Los Angeles will be held at the Doris Duke Theatre at 4 pm on Feb 22. Secure your spot at Mark Bradford’s lecture at Registration is required. Courtesy of the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities & National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition and program, do not necessarily represent those of Hawai’i Council for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities.

30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Museum, Miami.