fbpx Enter and Exit the New Negro | The Studio Museum in Harlem

Enter and Exit the New Negro

Mark Bradford (1961) Enter and Exit the New Negro, 2000 Acrylic and perm endpapers on canvas The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee  2001.9

From a distance the composition of Enter and Exit the New Negro appears to be a simple monochromatic grid. A closer look reveals that the repeating squares across the canvas are hundreds of semitransparent endpapers, used for permanent-wave treatments in hair salons. Mark Bradford’s adept manipulation of these distinctive artistic materials speaks to his interest in complicating conventional understandings of abstract art. For him, abstraction is a way to highlight the cultural significance of black beauty salons, as opposed to obscuring the endpapers’ original context.

Plan Your Vote