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September 10th, 2020

Each week, Artful spotlights an art experience or destination that speaks to us right now.

Artists are perhaps more suited than the rest of us to staying productive in isolation, and more than six months into the pandemic we are starting to get a look at what some of them have been up to. The painter Mark Bradford has gone a step further, leaning into the experience of living and working under Los Angeles's recent stay-at-home orders; his latest exhibition at Hauser & Wirth is titled "Quarantine Paintings" and viewable only on the gallery's website.

Unlike many "virtual exhibitions," this one contains tantalizing hints of physicality. Click through, and you'll see three of Bradford's richly textured collage-paintings hanging on exposed-brick walls in a rarely-used and raw-looking section of the gallery's Los Angeles branch; this part of the building was once the grain tower of the former flour mill. One of the installation shots teases the viewer with a rope drawn across the entrance and a sign that says "Closed until further notice."

The paintings themselves, as with Bradford's other works, are the product of high-touch encounters with the city: he finds the merchant posters and flyers that wind up in his art on long walks around the neighborhood. They are smaller than his usual canvases, however, and perhaps because of this new scale (apparent even at a digital remove) their skewed and torqued grids don't feel as connected to L.A. sprawl. They are titled, simply, "Q1," "Q2," and "Q3," as if to say that quarantine is, in one way or another, the subject of all art made during this confounding time.

Installation view, 'Mark Bradford. Quarantine Paintings,' Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2020
© Mark Bradford
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: Joshua White / JWPictures
Portrait of Mark Bradford. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Sean Shim-Boyle
Installation view, 'Mark Bradford. Quarantine Paintings,' Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2020 © Mark Bradford Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Joshua White / JWPicturesQ3
2020
Mixed media on canvas
182.9 x 243.8 cm / 72 x 96 in
Installation view, 'Mark Bradford. Quarantine Paintings,' Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2020
© Mark Bradford
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: Joshua White / JWPictures
Q2
2020
Mixed media on canvas
182.9 x 243.8 cm / 72 x 96 in
Installation view, 'Mark Bradford. Quarantine Paintings,' Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2020
© Mark Bradford
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: Joshua White / JWPictures
Q1
2020
Mixed media on canvas
182.9 x 243.8 cm / 72 x 96 in
Installation view, 'Mark Bradford. Quarantine Paintings,' Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2020
© Mark Bradford
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

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