Mark Bradford (Courtesy photo)

Los Angeles based artist Mark Bradford is the recipient of its annual Getty Prize, the institution’s highest honor, announced The J. Paul Getty Trust on Nov. 29.

Established in 2013 and formerly known as the “Getty Medal,” the award recognizes leaders in the cultural fields whose work expands human understanding and appreciation of arts and culture. Beginning this year, the award will go to a single person who can then recognize the work of a non-profit of their choosing with a $500,000 grant from Getty.

“We are thrilled that the Getty Prize will now recognize not only personal achievements and contributions to the cultural sector but will also actively support the work of other not-for-profit organizations working in the sector by providing the awardee with the opportunity to pay it forward,” says Katherine E. Fleming, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “Mark Bradford is an exceptional artist whose thought-provoking work often sheds light on societal issues and has captivated audiences in his hometown of Los Angeles and well beyond.”

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In the coming weeks, Mark Bradford will select a non-profit organization to be honored. Both he and the chosen organization will be celebrated at the annual Getty Prize dinner on May 13, 2024, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Nominations are reviewed and awardees determined by the Getty Trust Board of Trustees.

“I am deeply honored to be among the illustrious recipients of the Getty Prize and am grateful for this opportunity to bring such generous support to a non-profit organization of my choosing,” says Mark Bradford.

Mark Bradford is a contemporary artist best known for his large-scale abstract paintings created out of paper. Characterized by its layered formal, material, and conceptual complexity, his work explores social and political structures that objectify marginalized communities and the bodies of vulnerable populations. After accumulating layers of various types of paper onto canvas, Bradford excavates their surfaces using power tools to explore the connections between economic and social structures that define contemporary subjects. His oeuvre includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, printmaking, and other mediums. In addition to his studio practice, Bradford engages in social projects alongside exhibitions of his work that bring contemporary ideas outside the walls of exhibition spaces and into communities with limited access and exposure to art.

Bradford received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1995 and his MFA from CalArts in 1997. He has since been widely exhibited internationally and received numerous awards. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; and Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai.

Past Getty Prize awardees include Harold M. Williams and Nancy Englander, who were recognized for their leadership in creating Getty as it exists today, along with Frank Gehry, Ellsworth Kelly, Ed Ruscha, Agnes Gund, Yo-Yo Ma, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Richard Serra, and more.