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Curator-led tour of Mark Bradford's "Pickett's Charge" at the Hirshhorn


“Bradford creates a picture of a complicated and frustrating truth that haunts us every day in almost everything we say and think about our national divisions.” –The Washington Post Pickett's Charge is Mark Bradford's site-specific work featuring eight canvases that stretch across the entire inner-ring gallery on the third floor. Bradford drew inspiration for this new work from French artist Paul Philippoteaux’s 19th century cyclorama, currently on view in Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania. Philippoteaux’s cyclorama depicts Pickett’s Charge—which historians cite as the critical turning point of the Civil War and, consequently, of American history. Working with a combination of colored paper and reproductions of the original, Bradford transforms the historic Gettysburg imagery.

By cutting, tearing, and scraping through the layers, Bradford reveals the hidden textures and complexities lurking just beneath the surface. The resulting work weaves past and present, illusion and abstraction, inviting visitors to reconsider how narratives about American history are shaped and contested. 

Pickett’s Charge is Bradford’s first solo exhibition in Washington, DC, and his first major American solo show following his presentation as the US representative for the 57th Venice Biennale. Optional: Dutch treat coffee and networking following the tour.

Earlier Event: January 5
Later Event: February 1