Mark Bradford: Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank

South Galleries and 9 x 9 x 9, Bermondsey, London, United Kingdom
16 Oct 2013 - 22 Dec 2013

White Cube Bermondsey presents ‘Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank’, a major exhibition of new work by Mark Bradford and his second with the gallery. Using materials found in the urban environment, such as billboard sheets, posters and news print, Bradford’s expansive, multi-layered collaged paintings explore the dynamics of social abstraction, where image is fused with context.

The title of the exhibition is drawn from a chapter in the memoir of the former American president Dwight D Eisenhower in which he relates his experience as a member of the Transcontinental Motor Convoy of 1919. This encounter, coupled with his observations in Germany during the Second World War, led to the adoption of a nationwide highway system in the US in the 1950s. Applying the map of the interstate roads as a point of origin for a number of paintings in the exhibition, Bradford deftly combines abstract compositions with topographical points of reference that shift in and out of focus. The creation of the freeways, borne out of military exigency to deploy troops across the country, also arbitrarily ripped through communities, including Bradford’s own in south central Los Angeles. Similarly, ruptures, fractures, incisions and segregations echo throughout the work.


‘Through Darkest America by Truck and Tank’ is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, featuring a conversation between the artist and Susan May, and a text by Christopher Bedford.




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