Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III

Mark Bradford

Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III is a work from Bradford's seminal series of "Merchant Posters". The original printed posters, collected by Bradford, are billstuck advertisements that target an area's vulnerable lower-income residents which are then worked upon by the artist. Bradford's practice includes tearing; sanding; rubbing down surfaces to visit a patina of wear upon them, part-metaphor for decay, part-pure abstraction and revelry in the surface of those materials.

"The sheer density of advertising creates a psychic mass, an overlay that can sometimes be very tense or aggressive. If there's a 20-foot wall with one advertisement for a movie about war, then you have the repetition of the same image over and over--war, violence, explosions, things being blown apart. As a citizen, you have to participate in that every day. You have to walk by until it's changed."

Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III uses posters from the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and advertises propane delivery to the FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) trailers that housed the displaced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States: 80% of New Orleans became flooded and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. FEMA provided housing assistance (rental assistance, trailers, etc.) to more than 700,000 applicants - families and individuals, the majority from the already impoverished black community. Only one-fifth of the trailers requested in Orleans Parish were supplied however, resulting in an enormous housing shortage in the city of New Orleans.The, at times, impossible struggle of the New Orleans poor as they fought to rebuild their lives with little help from a shockingly inept government response became an international scandal.

The title of the work is a metaphor for the impossible: the corner of Desire and Piety does not exist. The streets run parallel through the Lower Ninth Ward and never intersect. This work directly relates to the monumental 72-panel Corner of Desire and Piety in the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.

Mark Bradford (b.1961)
Untitled (Corner of Desire and Piety) III
Mixed media collage
22 x 27 3/4 in : 55.9 x 70.5 cm
Signed, titled and dated verso
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Collection of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Chicago
Aspen Art Museum, Mark Bradford, February 11 - April 4, 2010
Mark Bradford: Merchant Posters, exh. cat., Aspen Art Museum, 2010, no. 83, pp. 126, 153 (illustrated)

Enquire for price