A Los Angeles-Based Artist And Baltimore Museum Of Art Prepares For The 57th Venice Biennale


The staff of the Baltimore Museum of Art is scurrying about trying to make sure everything is perfect for the $5,000-a-plate black-tie gala scheduled for Wednesday night in Italy.

Mark Bradford, a Los Angels-based artist, is representing America in “the Olympics of the art world” art fair, but continues to ponder on which of his artwork will represent his best abilities, even though he has done the Rotunda 15 times. Bradford’s artwork will be placed in the Rotunda, a room in the U.S. Pavilion. He previously tossed out his most recent proposal for the wall covering, a design with a collage of predatory mobile phone ads that single out prisoners and their families.


Mark Bradford "Father You Have Murdered Me"
Mark Bradford “Father You Have Murdered Me”

Bradford will exhibit six paintings, two sculptures and a 2005 three-minute film “Niagara”, which was specifically designed for the Biennale.

The Baltimore Museum of Art, in correlation with the city of Baltimore, will help to showcase the United States entry into the 57th Venice Biennale, which is widely considered to be the most prestigious state of the art world. The pressures and stakes will be at very high levels, as the spotlight beams down brightly.

Chairwoman of the Venice committee of the museum’s board of trustees, Amy Elias, said, “This is an opportunity for the world to see how important our museum is.”

“This biennale has the potential to not only be transformation for the museum, but for Baltimore as a city. It’s not just great art – it’s great art with social relevance. In Today’s world, you can’t have one without the other. We’re going to be seen as a very important player in the local, regional, national and international art world.”

The 2017 Venice Biennale will kick off on May 13 and run through November 26, with 85 nations competing for the much-desired Golden Lion award for best individual artist and best pavilion, which will be distributed on the morning of the show opening. Competing for the first time is Barbuda, Antigua, Nigeria and the Republic of Kiribati.

The Baltimore Museum of Art was chosen in October as the lead institution that would be in charge of organizing the U.S.’s entry into the competition. The institution received the honor only one time before, which was in 1960. The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University assisted the BMA in raising $1 million, including $250,000 from the U.S. State Department.

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