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Educator Resources: Mark Bradford

October 13, 2011

Mark Bradford opens this Sunday, October 16 at the Dallas Museum of Art and you do not want to miss this exhibition.  Bradford’s abstract, large-scale, mixed-media paintings look beautiful and comfortable in the expansive contemporary art galleries at the DMA.  As you plan your own visit or a visit for your students, there is great information about Bradford, his work, and his process available on several websites.  Spend some time with the following resources to learn more about Bradford and to gather ideas for dialogue and studio projects with your students.

Potable Water, 2005, Billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, and additional mixed media, 130 x 196 inches, Collection of Hunter Gray, Photo: Bruce M. White

1.  Pinocchio is On Fire
This is the official website for the exhibition Mark Bradford, organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio.  When you visit the site, you have four ways to dive into Bradford’s work. Select “the studio” and view a unique presentation of two videos featuring Bradford talking about his process.   “The art” guides us through a look at several works in the exhibition.  Finally, you can choose “the artist” to learn more about Bradford’s biography, or select “process & materials” to learn more about what media he uses and how he creates.

2.  Art21
This popular PBS documentary about art in the 21st century features Mark Bradford and eighty-five additional contemporary artists presently working in the United States.  Each season of Art21, which is now in its fifth season, explores several thematic episodes that bring together multiple artists for consideration within the specified theme.  Bradford is featured in the “Paradox” episode, season four, which looks at how contemporary artists address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth.  For Bradford and each of the artists featured on the website, visitors can access videos, slideshows, interactive resources, and educational materials.

Mark Bradford in his studio, fall 2009, Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

3. Open Studio
Mark Bradford conceived of Open Studio as part of the Getty Artists Program.  Designed for K-12 teachers, the resource is a collection of art-making ideas developed by Bradford and ten international artists that he engaged in the project.  Open Studio art lessons reflect the contemporary world that we live in and the ways in which young people move through this world (often faster than the rest of us as Bradford suggests).  The website also includes biographies and several color images for each artist.

4. Exhibition smARTphone tour
If you are coming to the exhibition or wish to reconnect with the artworks after visiting the exhibition, don’t forget that you can pull out your smartphone (iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys, etc.) and listen to Mark Bradford talk about several works in the exhibition.  This tour has been available at many of the exhibition venues.  If you do not have a smartphone, just type “www.dallasmuseumofart.mobi” into your internet browser to view the resources on your computer.  Select “Mark Bradford,” then select the artwork of your choice to listen.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

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