My Love Is a 187

Four artists with impressive art-world credentials show their work in the current exhibition. For his huge unframed pieces, Mark Bradford reconstructs found billboards — sanding, scraping, and collaging them (with his trademark hairstylist tissue endpapers) — to create rich textured surfaces reminiscent of beautiful old walls. Close inspection reveals repetitive graphic themes that Bradford accentuates by tracing and cutting, excavating text and images. Titus Kaphar, originally from San Jose by way of Yale University, is a revisionist art historian, boldly correcting the errors of the past. In Finding Moses and Spouse, he skillfully copies large-scale 18th- and 19th-century oil paintings (portraits and figures in landscape) and then cuts precise circular holes where faces appeared, leaving a Swiss-cheese canvas with the removed painted discs installed alongside. For several years, Kaphar has worked to foreground the black figures marginalized as servants or "exotics" in historical works. Artist Shinique Smith, known for her multimedia installations, offers Prayer Tree, a modest corner piece with piled clothing, tree branches, and cut sections of carpet. And Mickalene Thomas, who makes rhinestone-and-glass-bead portraits that are the level of mosaics, outdoes herself with an over-the-top living room installation that includes walls with her own portraits of Sista Sista Lady Blue and Six Foota. —L.F.

 
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