Photo via Baker Artist Awards
Photo via Baker Artist Awards

The Baltimore Museum of Art is one of the institutions carrying the torch for the U.S. at a major art world event in Venice next year.

The museum is set to collaborate with the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University for the American entry into next year’s Venice Biennale. The 120-year-old event is known as the Olympics of the art world, and the U.S. will have its own pavilion from May-November. That’s where the two museums will present a new exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford.

The common thread is BMA Director Christopher Bedford, who came to Baltimore in August following the retirement of Doreen Bolger. Bedford previously led the Rose Art Museum. The Venice Biennale entry was already in the works before Bedford changed jobs. He is commissioner of the Pavilion. Bradford and Katy Siegel, who also came from the BMA from Brandeis, are co-curators.

“Mark’s focus on under-represented urban communities and social justice aligns with the interests of both the BMA and Brandeis, so our working together with him to advance these goals will enhance the impact of this major new work,” Bedford said in a statement.

The BMA has been to Venice before. In 1960, BMA’s then-leaders curated an exhibit of abstract expressionist artists Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, and Philip Guston, and sculptor Theodore Roszak.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.