Resting between two and three dimensions as color-shifting pigments on waves of fabric in curvaceous pools of epoxy, like glossy dimensional frescoes-- the works emerging from 'In Medias Res' wrestle with our connections to consciousness, in an extended environmental cosmos comprised of energy, time, and space.  Likewise, these pieces are propagated through a process moving through states of comparative research, opinion, imagination, and faith to collapse into forms which for me comprise a first contact in acknowledging that the universe is imbued with life.

These works began as written mantras on a surface in radial motion, and while these words erode into color fields as spaces that are simultaneously real and imagined, just like the moments in which those words were so important both persist and fade, these fields become the backdrop of information beyond the space we know to reach for, at once both intangible and illegible yet a truth existing within the mind's grasp. 

While comparing what we observe, believe, and theorize about the shape of our reality and transforming it into visual material-- Stafford's process is essentially swimming and sewing through the waves of subject and context, frame and format as competitively interwoven in their stated compositions, not unlike all matters of perception and abstraction.  As the symbols erode from their original inspirations and mantras to a dualistic investigation of the portal as described in art theory and physics at the edge of relativity, they begin to reflect on many philosophies and variations of the shape of existence at the intersection of our observational universe and model-dependent realities. 

Having planted the roots of this practice in the vast and rugged environments of Alaska and Arizona, he has always found comfort in vast nature and an interest in its connection to consciousness and our awareness as someone who grew up with an unusual form of epilepsy which he has navigated throughout his life.  Depthening this resolution in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and now in Brooklyn, this work grapples with our relationship to physicality, the dimensions of our influence, and ultimately the expansion of our environment to accept frontiers of humanity to systems beyond an Earth alone mentality as we begin our chassé towards the stars as this narrative comes closer into focus for humanity.


Mark Lawrence Stafford

from Anchorage, Alaska

 to Brooklyn, New York



--- Table of contents --- ,  SLAG Gallery,  New York, NY 


—W O R K—, Bronx Blue Bedroom Project. Bronx, NY



FOCUS New York, New York


SCOPE Miami Beach, Florida


North x Northwest, Yellowstone Art Museum.  Billings, MT,  juried by Julia Andrews 

Library and Museum of Electronic Waste, LES Ecology Center. New York, NY,  curated by Christine Datz-Romero

Third Person, Ground Floor Gallery. Brooklyn, NY, curated by Krista Scenna w/ Cat Glennon)


Apocryphal Times, Friedman Benda. New York, NY curated by Tamara Kostianovsky

SELECT 2014, Phillip Bloom Gallery. Miami, FL curated by Tim Goossens 

The Bushwick 500, English Kills Gallery, Brooklyn, NY


Friends of Ai Weiwei / Advancing Human Rights, AW Asia Gallery. NY, NY 

David, Shirey Gallery. Brooklyn, NY curated by Stan Narten and Matt White


Every Exit is an Entrance, Exit Art. New York, NY curated by Papo Colo


Fellowship Exhibition, Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia, MN curated by John Hock

RE/Mixed Digital Art Festival. Brooklyn, NY curated by Tom Tenny


Cityscape: Surveying the Urban Biotope, Socrates Sculpture Park. Queens, NY curated by Alyson Baker and Marichris Ty

The Last Book, The Zentralbibliothek. Zürich, Switzerland, project by Luis Camnitzer

Illiterature, Frumkin/Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA curated by Mark Carter


The Act of Drawing, VIVID. Birmingham, United Kingdom curated by Laura Coult

The Fountain Art Fair, Alice Chilton Gallery. Miami, FL curated by Jill McDermid

Plan B, NurtureART. Brooklyn, NY curated by Krista Saunders

Maximum Perception, English Kills Gallery, Brooklyn, NY curated by Peter Dobill.

Illiterature, LIMN Gallery. San Francisco, CA curated by Mark Carter


AIM 28:How Soon is Now?, Bronx Museum of Art. Bronx, NY curator: Erin Riley-Lopez

Catching the Word, Black & White Gallery//Chelsea. NY, NY curator: Tatyana Okshteyn

Works on Paper, O’H+T. Boston, MA curators: Kathleen O’Hara and Caroline Taggart

Aqua Art fair Miami/Wynwood. Miami, FL Curs: Kathleen O’Hara and Caroline Taggart


Renegades, Exit Art.  NY, NY

Lets Bolt! Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center.  NY, NY

Divided by, Serious Games, Exit Art.  NY, NY

Ignite Annual, Trenton City Museum. Trenton, NJ

Wood, English Kills Gallery. Brooklyn, NY

Construct, The Building Show, Exit Art.  NY, NY


Filter, The Drop, Exit Art. NY, NY

IN&OUT, Medianoche.  NY, NY

Wrote for Luck, Kouros Gallery. NY, NY

1st Semiannual, Monkeytown. Brooklyn, NY


Mantra, Praying Project, Exit Art. NY, NY

MFA Biennial, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art. Wilmington, DE

Thresholds, Hamilton Gallery. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum. Philadelphia, PA

5/INTO/ONE: Philadelphia Sculptors’ Exhibition. Moore College of Art. Philadelphia, PA

Art Full Text, City Hall.  Philadelphia, PA  


Open Video Call, Institute of Contemporary Art. Philadelphia, PA

New American Paintings, M.F.A. annual 2004

Against the End, Art Around Gallery.  Philadelphia, PA

Maps, Gallery the.  Brooklyn, NY

All Open, 1301 Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Obsolescence, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery.  Philadelphia, PA


R.C. Baker, Village Voice. “Best in Show: 'How Soon Is Now?' at the Bronx Museum of the Arts ”. 

Barbara Hoffman and Calla Salinger, The New York Post. “Be a part of the art: Sculpture you can walk through-or picnic”. 

The New Yorker. Goings on About town. “Bronx Museum of the Arts.” 

Leah Ollman, the Los Angeles Times, “Review: ‘Illiterature’ at Arena 1 Gallery.”

Brooke Sopelsa,, “Recession Inspired Art Grows in Brooklyn” 



Jerome Fellowship – FSP 


Socrates Production Grant 


Puffin Foundation Grant 



Franconia Sculpture Park, Minnesota 


Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York 


Artist in the Marketplace, The Bronx Museum. The Bronx, New York 


Visionaries: Artists Shaping The Future. Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, 2024.

Marquis Who's Who, Biography Registry 2024

The Collection Vol #3, with OPEN DOORS and the Center for Transformative Action, 2022

ART IDEAL Magazine, Circle Foundation, September/October 2020

Socrates Sculpture Park, Thirty Years.  Introduction by John Hatfield, essays by Jamie Bennett, Mark di Suvero, and Phong Bui 2019.

Alternative Histories: New York Art Spaces, 1960 to 2010. Edited by Lauren Rosati and Mary Anne Stainszewski. Published by MIT Press, 2012. 

AIM 28: How Soon is Now?. Forward essay by Claire Barliant. Publ: Bedwick & Jones, 2008.

New American Paintings. Northeastern Competition, #68. Boston: The Open Studio Press, 2007. 



BFA – Studio Art & Art Education. School of Art, 

The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 


MFA – Studio Art. 

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Philadelphia, PA

Collections upon request.  Mark Stafford lives and works in Brooklyn, New York