Mark Bradford Luncheon
Lafayette Restaurant, New York, NY
By NOAH BECKER, JAN. 2017
The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, will present Mark Bradford as the representative for the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 57th International Art Exhibition, on view from May 13 to November 26, 2017. The pavilion will be co-curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director and commissioner for the project; and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Programming and Research Curator.
Mark Bradford’s project at Venice Biennale is a six-year community minded project instigated and scheduled separately but overlapping with the Biennale’s run. His collaboration with Venice social cooperative nonprofit Rio Terà dei Pensieri, will provide employment opportunities to men and women incarcerated in Venice to create artisanal goods and other products and supports their re-integration into society. Bradford is applying himself to help the community in Venice by creating a marketplace for those in need and sees it as a project that is ongoing - but a six-year project to start with. Lafayette in Manhattan’s East Village was the location of a private luncheon in honor of the Los Angeles based Bradford, who was in attendance at the event organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art. Writer Christopher Bollen of INTERVIEW magazine, publicist Andrea Schwan and writer Linda Yablonsky of Artforum and the New York Times were all at the luncheon, as was Artnet writer Brian Boucher. Writers Lilly Wei of Art in America and Antwaun Sargent of INTERVIEW magazine were also in attendance at this high profile exclusive event. And me, Noah Becker from Whitehot Magazine but you probably figured that out by now but unlike certain people, the focus is not myself.
The menu at Lafayette was Bibb Lettuce with Fourme D'Ambert and Hazelnuts followed by wood-grilled local Trout with Savoy Cabbage and vanilla Cheesecake with mixed berry compote for dessert.
I know Bradford through Hauser & Wirth in Chelsea, NYC, where I went to his recent exhibition. Bradford spoke to the small gathering of art world dignitaries at Lafayette, about things more important to him than the art world, or “art” as the primary focus of his project. Bradford believes that liberal minded people can take back the mainstream if they stay long enough at the metaphoric table. He also says things like “We are a lot stronger than we think we are.” All relevant ideas in this time of struggle and uncertainty. WM
Noah Becker shows his art internationally. A visual artist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine, Becker has also written freelance articles for The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post and contributed texts to major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker also directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010) viewable on Youtube.
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