Street Level

Mark Bradford, William Cordova & Robin Rhode

Street Level
Book Pages: 96 Illustrations: 30 color illustrations Published: March 2007

Subjects
Art and Visual Culture > Photography

Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova & Robin Rhode examines the work of three early-career contemporary artists for whom the streets of their respective cities act as fluid, living sources of inspiration. The full-color catalog accompanies the three-person exhibition on view from March 29, 2007 through July 29, 2007 at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. For these artists, found objects and performative gestures help build the foundation for their art, which includes painting, works on paper, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and other mixed media. Together they reinterpret the urban vernacular to engage critical issues of class, geography, and race in contemporary society.

Mark Bradford is best known for abstract collages made largely from accumulated signage taken from the streets of South Central Los Angeles that he tears, bleaches, sands, and embellishes to reconfigure the urban landscape. These visible remains and the residual human energy in urban spaces become the foundation of Bradford’s work. William Cordova works primarily with found paper and everyday objects to create drawings and mixed-media installations; some materials and iconography—such as books, speakers, tires, and albums—are recurring images that allude both to Cordova’s Peruvian heritage and modern urban subcultures. Inspired by graffiti, film, sports, and hip-hop, as well as his personal experiences in the rough neighborhoods of Johannesburg, South Africa, Robin Rhode’s performances involve the build-up and erasure of chalk drawings on the walls of public spaces and galleries that playfully transform his renderings into illusory three-dimensional objects through the artist’s physical engagement. This richly illustrated catalog includes an essay about each artist.

Praise

“[A] handy paperback catalog-book hybrid published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name. Vivid reproductions are brilliantly laid out within the text, instantly available for wandering eyes. The book expands upon the exhibition itself, relaying artists' backgrounds, themes, and motivations. It also includes a checklist of works on view and detailed bios of each artist and writer. Street Level embodies what the paintings, collages, photography, performance, and video media of these three young artists create on the canvases of the cities that inspire their work: something familiar but new; it reaches us where we are, with critical commentary, inspiring curatorship and straight-up seeable art.” — Ilana Swerdlin, Afterimage

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Trevor Schoonmaker is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. A founder of the Brooklyn Institute of Contemporary Art, he was previously an independent curator in New York. He is the editor of Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway and Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface and Acknowledgments / Kimerly Rorsach xi

Curator's Acknowledgments / Trevor Schoonmaker xiii

Introduction: Street Level / Trevor Schoonmaker 3

Mark Bradford: The Evidence of Things Not Seen / Sarah Lewis 13

William Cordova: Everything You Can't Leave Behind / Trevor Schoonmaker 33

Robin Rhode: Hitting the Pavement / Isolde Brielmaier 55

Checklist of the Exhibition 75

About the Artists 78

About the Contributors 80
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-938989-28-8
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