Mark Bradford is the winner of the 2016 David C. Driskell Prize. The Los Angeles-based artist, known for his massive collage works comprising layers of street posters, paint and mixed media. The tall, lanky artist is also the co-founder of Art + Practice, an arts and education foundation that “supports the acquisition of practical skills for foster youth and stresses the cultural importance of art within a larger social context.”
Established in 2005, the Driskell prize is named for African-American artist and art scholar and is given to an early or midcareer scholar or artist whose work makes an original and important contribution to the field of African-American art or art history.
In a press release, the High’s new director Rand Suffolk said: “[Bradford’s] work and life powerfully advocate for social change and provide poignant 21st century perspectives on the politics and psychology of human interaction. The boundary-pushing nature of his practice embodies the spirit of our annual Driskell Prize, and we’re proud to honor him in this way.”
Bradford was chosen from a pool of nominees from national arts professional, and chosen by a review committee that included Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, 2013 Driskell Prize recipient and director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art; Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and Lauren Haynes, associate curator, permanent collection, the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Bradford will be honored at the Driskell Prize Dinner at the High on Friday, April 29, 2016, at 7 p.m.