The Baltimore Museum of Art Presents Mark Bradford's Tomorrow Is Another Day, Featured in 2017 Venice Biennale
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announces the U.S. debut of Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day from September 23, 2018, through March 3, 2019. First presented at the U.S. Pavilion as part of the 2017 Venice Biennale, the exhibition is co-curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director and Commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion, and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Programming and Research Curator and Thaw Chair of Modern American Art at Stony Brook University. Tomorrow Is Another Day is a complex, multi-layered narrative by Bradford using a variety of media—painting, sculpture, and video. Together, these works reflect the artist’s longstanding interest in how communities—particularly those which have been traditionally marginalized—address issues of social and economic justice, as well as his belief in art’s ability to expose contradictory histories and inspire action in the present day.
An integral aspect of Bradford’s engagement in Baltimore is his partnership with Greenmount West Community Center (GWCC), a community art space for children and families two miles south of the museum. The community center provides a safe and positive environment for underserved local youth to create, learn, and share through a program of structured activities and open dialogue. Bradford provided the skills-based training and equipment needed for a silk-screening program at the GWCC with assistance from Noisy Tenants, an entrepreneurial organization that helps communities solve problems they care about by tapping into their inherent creativity, relationships, and resources. Silk-screened t-shirts and tote bags created by the GWCC will be available for purchase in a pop-up shop at the BMA adjacent to the exhibition. Bradford’s involvement with GWCC parallels his community engagement initiative in Venice, Italy, where he began a six-year partnership with the social cooperative nonprofit Rio Terà dei Pensieri, providing opportunities for men and women incarcerated in Venice to create artisanal goods and other products and supporting their reintegration into society. The partnership, called Process Collettivo, supported the opening of a retail store and aims to increase employment and training opportunities for these incarcerated individuals.
“Mark’s work is always rooted in the specific needs and conditions of the communities he partners with. This conviction is as central to him as the use of paper is to his practice as an abstract painter,” said BMA Director Christopher Bedford. “I know the deeply personal exhibition he created for the U.S. Pavilion in Venice will resonate with many who live in or visit Baltimore. We are honored to share these two vital and inextricable sides of Mark—the artist and the community-builder—with the city.”
The Los Angeles-based artist, a leading figure in contemporary art, is best known for his abstract paintings and collage-based works that recapture mid-century American art’s capacity to conjure the sublime and evoke deep feeling, while incorporating layers of social and personal commentary. Bradford is deeply engaged with social issues as co-founder of Los Angeles-based nonprofit Art + Practice, which encourages cultural education by supporting the needs of foster youth living predominantly in South Los Angeles, and providing access to free, museum-curated art exhibitions and moderated art lectures to the community of Leimert Park. The artist’s equivalent commitments to formal intervention and social activism anchor his contribution to culture at large and embody his belief in the power of art to affect positive change.
“Tomorrow Is Another Day addresses the difficulties experienced by so many others who are trying to create foundations for themselves and find their footing,” said Bradford. “The exhibition is not just about me, but about all of those who feel like they’re on the periphery. My collaboration with Greenmount West Community Center is a part of this process, creating sustainable platforms for people who don’t have these opportunities.”