Mark Bradford and Stephen Towns in Conversation
March 7 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Don't miss one of the most accomplished artists of his generation
Mark Bradford in conversation with Baltimore's Stephen Towns, whose stunning and evocative textile exhibition opens at the BMA on Wednesday, March 7.
The artists draw on U.S. history for their recent works and push the boundaries of painting through a variety of materials and forms.
Seating is limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Auditorium doors open at 6:40 p.m. Stay for a light reception following the talk.
Arrive from 5-7 p.m. for after-hours access to Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning. The exhibition is on view at the BMA from March 7 through September 2.
This event is generously co-sponsored by the Joshua Johnson Council.
Mark Bradford was born in 1961 in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. He received a BFA (1995) and MFA (1997) from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Best known for his large-scale abstract paintings that examine the class-, race-, and gender-based economies that structure urban society in the United States, Bradford’s richly layered and collaged canvases represent a connection to the social world through materials. Bradford uses fragments of found posters, billboards, newsprint, and custom-printed paper to simultaneously engage with and advance the formal traditions of abstract painting.
Solo exhibitions include Tomorrow Is Another Day commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), Scorched Earth at the Hammer Museum (2015), Sea Monsters at the Rose Art Museum (2014), Maps and Manifests at Cincinnati Art Museum (2008), and Neither New Nor Correct at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007). In 2009, Mark Bradford was the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Award. In 2010, a large-scale survey of his work organized by Christopher Bedford was presented at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, before traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Bradford’s work has been included in group shows at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014), Whitney Museum of American Art (2013), the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), Seoul Biennial (2010), the Carnegie International (2008), São Paulo Biennial (2006), and Whitney Biennial (2006). He recently opened Pickett’s Charge, a monumental commissioned cyclorama of paintings at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Towns was born in 1980 in Lincolnville, South Carolina and lives and works in Baltimore. He trained as a painter with a BFA in studio art from the University of South Carolina, and has also developed a rigorous, self-taught quilting practice. Towns draws visual inspiration from the history of sacred painting, 19th-century photography, and Dutch wax print fabrics, in addition to African American story quilts. His work has been exhibited at Arlington Arts Center, Galerie Myrtis, Gallery CA, and Goucher College’s Rosenberg Gallery, among other venues. Towns won the inaugural travel prize of the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City in 2016, traveling to Ghana and Senegal to visit historical sites that mark the Transatlantic Slave Trade. He is also the recipient of a 2015 Ruby Artist Project Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
Join artists Mark Bradford and Stephen Towns for a lively conversation on how each artist pushes the boundaries of painting through a variety of materials and forms. Admission to the museum and event are free. Seating is limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.