Los Angeles-based artists Sharon Lockhart and Mark Bradford, both featured in this year's Venice Biennale, come together at the Orpheum Theatre downtown to discuss their creative practices and their focus on social justice through work with communities. Lockhart explores the human subjects of her artwork through workshops, film and photographs, and Bradford through the found materiality of his painting and activism. Through their respective practices, both seek to enrich the communities they engage in their processes. This conversation with curator, critic and art historian Katy Siegel will explore their work now at the Venice Biennale, in the American and Polish pavilions, and their related social activism projects. Bradford's Across 110th St. (2008) and Boreas (2007), and Lockhart's Manioc Production: Elenilde Correa, Eliane Correa, Neide Correa, Mariana Correa, Denize Correa & Maria Correa, Santa Rita Community, River Aripuana, Brazil (1999) are currently on view in The Broad's collection installation, Oracle.
About Mark Bradford
Mark Bradford is representing the U.S. at the American Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (curated by Christopher Bedford and Katy Siegel) where his installation "Tomorrow is Another Day" has gained wide recognition. Consistent with Bradford's artistic practice in Los Angeles, he is supporting Rio Terà dei Pensieri, a nonprofit social cooperative that provides opportunities for work placement and social reintegration to men and women within Venice's prisons.
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.
In tandem with his studio practice, Bradford founded Art+Practice in Leimert Park, a nonprofit that encourages education and culture by providing support services to foster youth predominantly living in South Los Angeles as well as offering access to free, museum-quality art exhibitions and moderated art lectures to the community of Leimert Park.
About Sharon Lockhart
Sharon Lockhart (b. 1964) is an American artist living and creating in Los Angeles and Poland. Her "The Little Review" is featured in this year's Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Since the beginning of her career, Lockhart has offered subtle and carefully made imagery that both conceals and reveals its subjects. In her signature method, Lockhart stages a photograph, casting and setting each image as if it were a film. She focuses on every detail making up the whole. Distinct parts are meticulously presented, but without the intent of leading the viewer in any particular direction.
Lockhart works with small communities that speak in their own voice through her art. Her project for the Venice Biennale, "The Little Review," was developed with a group of young women—teenagers with the Youth Center for Sociotherapy, a group home in Rudzienko, just outside Warsaw. The installation consists of a new film, a series of photographs, publications and educational workshops. The main inspiration for the project was the creation and practice of Janusz Korczak (1878-1942), a progressive educator, writer and promoter of children's rights. Analogous to Korczak, Lockhart's aim is to create a forum for the voices of children—both past and present.
The title "The Little Review" was borrowed from a newspaper for children and youth, invented and edited by Korczak, which appeared from 1926-1939 as a supplement to the Jewish newspaper "Our Review." The paper consisted entirely of texts and correspondence by children and adolescents. These few supplemental pages, which placed young people in the context of mass newspapers, were an unprecedented format that enabled them to tell their stories in their own language, expressing opinions about politics and everyday life.
Lockhart paraphrases "The Little Review" by translating it into a film through a series of workshops with young women ranging in age from 14 to 18 years at the Youth Center in Rudzienko.
About Katy Siegel
Katy Siegel is the Senior Curator for Research and Programming at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the inaugural Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University. She is co-curator of the American Pavilion at the current Venice Biennale. Among her curated exhibitions are Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, with Okwui Enwezor and Ulrich Wilmes at the Haus der Kunst, Munich; Light Years: Jack Whitten, 1971-1974; High Times Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-75, which toured internationally; Painting Paintings (David Reed) 1975, co-curated with Christopher Wool; and many other shows at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, where she was Curator at Large. Her books include "The heroine Paint": After Frankenthaler; Since '45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art; and Abstract Expressionism. Siegel is also a contributing editor at Artforum. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.