Mark Bradford, Very Powerful Lords. For this new installation, Mark Bradford mines the legend of Juan Ponce de Leon's quest for the Fountain of Youth as an allegory that continues to pervade contemporary culture. Katie Grinnan 'Adventures in Delusional Idealism'. Evoking contained, self-sustaining ecosystems and utopian communities, Katie Grinnan uses moldable plastic and computer-altered images of corporate spaces to create a large-scale photo sculptures and installations that envelop the architecture of the Whitney at Altria Sculpture Court.
Very Powerful Lords
For this new installation, Mark Bradford mines the legend of Juan Ponce de LeÃ³n's quest for the Fountain of Youth as an allegory that continues to pervade contemporary culture. Consisting of large-scale wall paintings and several sculptures made of manipulated found objects, the installation presents a modern day shrine to the elusive search for beauty in its current multicultural manifestations. This exhibition has been organized by Shamim M. Momin, Branch Director and Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria.
Bradford is known for paintings that recall formal aspects of modernism while being grounded in the urban materials of his local environment: South-Central L.A. His previous work has centered on investigations of hybrid ethnicity, beauty and artifice, and community ritual and process. Based on his recent research of Ponce de LeÃ³n's quest, the installation brings together the notion of beauty in its various multicultural manifestations with this mythic emblem of Eurocentric youth and pulchritude. Drawing from his experience as an artist and beauty operator, Bradford employs materials that are largely drawn from beauty/hair salons and other local establishments that hold significant social meaning in the urban context. This exhibition includes a large-scaled wall painting which features Bradford's signature use of layered end-papers used for permanent waves and the application of incandescent cellophane hair color to the canvas. A sculptural cluster of readymade light boxes depicting flowing waterfall scenes serves as a mini-monument to the seduction of beauty and the lure of youth. In addition, a shelf display of bottled water made by the Ponce de LeÃ³n Water distributing company addresses the prevalence of myth within the context of commercialization.
Adventures in Delusional Idealism
Evoking contained, self-sustaining ecosystems and utopian communities, Katie Grinnan uses moldable plastic and computer-altered images of corporate spaces to create large-scale photo sculptures and installations that envelop the architecture of the Whitney at Altria Sculpture Court. This exhibition has been organized by Shamim M. Momin, Branch Director and Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria.
Grinnan's installation work spatializes the intersection of photography, sculpture, and architectural environments. By incorporating her recent research of rain forests in Costa Rica, the Great Barrier Reef, the Biosphere, and Arcosanti (a utopian community in Arizona), Grinnan draws on the site-specific aspects of the Sculpture Court to create elements of her own hybrid, self-sustaining utopian community. This includes a small crop of corn planted in the existing flower beds and inverted trees suspended from above. Seamlessly combining high and low-tech processes, the installation features organically contoured sculptures growing over existing architectural structures and photographic forms that mimic objects in the space. These photographic sculptures and murals are derived from images taken by Grinnan of Altria public and office spaces. The combined elements of the installation reflect a compression of distance between structure and surface and the blurring of spatial function.
Image: Mark Bradford, The Devil is Beating His Wife, 2003
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