Executed in 2009, Dream Deferral is a work rich in the textural and layered surface qualities recognisable throughout Mark Bradford’s practice. Its title has Freudian overtones very possibly referring to Langston Hughes’s book-length poem, Montage of a Dream Deferred, from 1951. As with the surface of Bradford’s painting, Hughes’s poem is broken into a sequence of vignettes that are tied together less by direct threads of continuity but rather by the overall aesthetic of montage that weaves together disparate subjects. The same can be said of Bradford’s technique of subsuming appropriated material into his variegated surfaces. Deep collage elements built up by the Los Angeles artist are torn, sanded and gouged out as Bradford carves grid and lattice like arrangements that evoke the arterial structure of a city plan; streets weave through the medium in an aerial view of the tracks and contours of society city life. The layered abstracted satellite map created by Bradford “reanimates the ripped-and-torn décollage methodology trademarked by Jacques Villeglé and Raymond Hains in the 1950s” (M. Wilson, “Mark Bradford,” Artforum, April 2008, n.p.). Of his process, Mark Bradford has noted that he employs décollage and collage in equal measure, rhythmically removing layers and building them back up in order to “excavate and...build at the same time” (M. Bradford, quoted in “Mark Bradford: Politics, Process, and Postmodernism,” Art21, 1 April 2013, n.p.). Peeling billboard papers or merchant posters, photomechanical reproductions, hairdressing endpapers, newsprint clips and polyester cord: these are Bradford’s scavenged ephemera, considered in their regular context to be visual pollution yet decontextualized and altered into art. The resultant fusion of abstract painting and social awareness, termed “social abstraction” by the artist, results in a fresh, invigorated space for an updated Abstract Expressionism. When material enters into Bradford’s orbit it undergoes a transformation by which it takes on the qualities of both high and low.