Mark Bradford has made some amazing paintings. I don't say that lightly, I could stare at them for a long time. I had read this review online which encouraged me to take a look.
An individual painting could be made of every inch of these large works. Made of colored paper and paint, it was phenomenal to see how Bradford used the material to create shape and rhythm. There is an effortless sense of urbanity in these works through their color and decay of paper. Thomas Micchelli wrote that the paintings, "are as tough as the street and just as resistant to simple answers or unearned beauty." I can't disagree. There is a presence and solidness to the work that cannot be contested, they work, and they work well. There is nothing simple about the construction and meaning of the paintings. It's difficult to justify using a word like beauty, and if these works are beautiful, it is in a way completely separate from past definitions of the word.