Tactile Vision and Mark Bradford

Bean Gilford at Art Daily reviewed the Mark Bradford show that's been traveling about. I saw the show at MCA Chicago in 2011 and completely agree with Gildford that the camera is a lousy substitute for the eye.  We were fortunate to have a couple of Bradford's paintings here at the Harn Museum last year.  I've never seen a photograph of Bradfords work that makes me want to see it in person, they just don't translate that way.  I'm also a huge DeKooning fan, who's work also suffers from the camera.  But every time I go to MOMA I take a small detail shot of one or two inches of his painting surface to study.  His work reminds me of the possibilities of color and layer, hiding and revealing.  I feel the same way about Bradford's work, they show me as much as they hide, and I really love how physically the act of looking becomes in his paintings. You can see the surface sanded away, overlapping, tearing and rebuilding. It's hard not to touch them.  Here are three images from one painting, each one progressively larger. As photos they're all horrible, but if you get to see the painting, then you'll understand.

Mark Bradford, full view

Mark Bradford, detail 1
Mark Bradford, detail 2

Mark Bradford, detail 3

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