Artist Talk: Mark Bradford

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Artist Talk: Mark Bradford
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Artist Talk: Mark Bradford says
Join us before the opening of summer exhibitions for a special artist talk with celebrated Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford, whose work will be on view at CAM this season.

This event is free and open to the public, but due to popular demand, please pre-register here:

Doors 6:00 pm; Talk 7:00 pm

CAM presents the museum debut of Mark Bradford's Receive Calls on Your Cell Phone From Jail (2013), a grid of thirty-eight paintings comprising posters that convey the challenges surrounding receiving collect calls from prison on one’s cell phone. Many cell phone providers restrict subscribers from receiving collect calls, making this act of communication sometimes illegal and often difficult to enact, further isolating incarcerated individuals from the outside world. Exhibited on CAM's sixty-foot-long Project Wall, the installation can be “read” from left to right, embodying a melancholic passage of time. Bradford builds up and then tears down these work’s surfaces, asking viewers to consider how incarcerated people might feel consumed, abandoned, and discarded by the criminal justice system.

Also on view, in the Front Room, is Bradford’s single-channel video Practice (2003), which depicts the artist playing basketball on an outdoor court. Wearing a makeshift outfit that includes a Los Angeles Lakers uniform and a voluminous antebellum-style hoop skirt, Bradford is impeded by both the wind and the physical constraints of his cumbersome wardrobe. He repeatedly stumbles and falls, only to recover and continue shooting baskets. Imbued with humor, irony, and absurdity, Practice demonstrates a determination to persevere in the face of cultural, gender, and racial obstacles, both past and present.

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By: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

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