This is one of Bradford’s best pieces. He and I discussed it on Episode No. 19 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast. Download it here.
DECADE Theme Preview: What Happened to Painting?
Day Two: Mark Bradford’s Mississippi Gottdam, 2007
Taking as his subject New Orleans and Mississippi after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Mark Bradford expands upon and pushes the boundaries of traditional painting in his large-scale work, Mississippi Gottdam. Debris the artist collected from the streets of New Orleans are collaged to give the appearance of a surge of water sweeping everything away. The work serves as a powerful visual statement about post-Katrina New Orleans and its inhabitants and a striking criticism on the slowness of recovery efforts in low-income areas.
Image: Mark Bradford (American, born 1961). Mississippi Gottdam, 2007. Billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, comic-book paper, wrapping paper, and additional mixed media on canvas; 102 x 144 inches (259.1 x 365.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 2008. © 2007 Mark Bradford