Mark Bradford was born in 1961 in Los Angeles, California, where he lives and works. In 1997 Bradford graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Bradford is currently representing the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 2017 with a major solo show in the U.S. Pavilion. Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day is on view from May 13–November 26, 2017 in Venice, Italy. In November 2017, Bradford will present Pickett's Charge, a monumental commissioned cyclorama of paintings at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
In 2015, Bradford was presented with the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts. In 2013, he was elected as a National Academician by the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts in New York. Bradford is also a recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize (2016); the MacArthur Fellowship (2009); the Wexner Center Residency Award (2009); and the Bucksbaum Award, granted by The Whitney Museum of American Art (2006).
Bradford has shown extensively in international and national exhibitions. Recent solo shows include Mark Bradford: Receive Calls on Your Cell Phone From Jail, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2016); Tears of a Tree, The Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2015); Scorched Earth, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2015); Mark Bradford: Sea Monsters, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA (2014). Select public collections include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.