Mark Bradford - Scorched Earth, 2006, mixed media on canvas

Scorched Earth

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mixed media on canvas
95 1/4 x 118 1/4 x 2 1/4 in. (241.94 x 300.36 x 5.72 cm)

About This Artwork

The layers in Scorched Earth create a topography that represents the deep psychological and physical ruins of a disappeared people and another time and place. In this work, Mark Bradford depicts an aerial map of an area that has been blacked out. The blackness of this land mass resonates on many levels: black as in the demographics of this neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at one time called “Negro Wall Street,” where many black-owned businesses thrived, until a race riot erupted in 1921 and the violence obliterated this unique area and its history; black, as the title suggests, meaning burnt or scorched; black as in redacted; and black as in nothingness.

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