Mark Bradford show opens at Serralves Foundation

Presented at the Serralves Foundation in Portugal until 19 June 2022, Agora is Mark Bradford’s first major exhibition in Europe in nearly five years.

Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2021, the exhibition follows the Venice Biennale’s US pavilion display devoted to the artist in 2017.

Agora, not only means “now” in Portuguese, but it’s also the word for the central public debate space in Ancient Greece. Organized by the Serralves Foundation, curated by Philippe Vergne with the support of Filipa Loureiro, Agora aims to open discussions of the now, focused on Mark Bradford’s work, turning to the medieval period as a resonant metaphor for contemporary conflicts and social and political tensions.

Focused on Bradford’s artistic production of the last three years, for whom the ancient mythology has always been a consistent source of inspiration, the exhibition reveals a new series of paintings, tapestries and works on paper inspired by The Hunt of the Unicorn made in The Netherlands around 1500, and Cerberus, the many-headed dog guarding the entryway to the underworld, suggesting an examination between current issues and the Middle Ages period. 

“It was a testimony of an artist who has spent time in the studio… processing the time of crisis. It really is a meditation on how an artist is engaged in the world, not isolated in the studio.” Vergne said to AFP during the opening night.