visualized fields of information

Photo by John Berens Detail from first rough draft of Mark Lombardi's BNL, Reagan, Bush, & Thatcher and the Arming of Iraq, ca. 1983-91 (1995)

detail Mark Lombardi

Mark Lombardi (1951-2000) worked as a curator and librarian and was most of his life an abstract painter. He is famous because of his graphic art (mostly un-inked pencil drawings) wich he called: narrative structures. A kind of historical diagrams where each node or connection is drawn from news stories, they are structurally similar to sociograms. He simply used available material from books and newspaper articles (from the public record) for the information “content” of his work. The schematics are elaborate and delicate precise. They are factual spiderwebs illustrating alleged networks of criminal conspiracies. The web-like drawings show the decentralized nature of the networks of crime and flows of global capital. The key is a multitude of front companies, which add layers of complexity to the conspiracies themselves. One of the drawings called “George W. Bush, Harken Energy and Jackson Stephens, ca 1979-90” (1999) shows the connections of James Bath, a former CIA spook and business broker, front man for Saudi money who connected the Bush Family and Bin Laden Family (of the Osama bin Laden/ 9-11 legend) in shady deals in Texas and around the world.

Lombardi's BNL, Reagan, Bush, & Thatcher and the Arming of Iraq (1995)

Lombardi's BNL, Reagan, Bush, & Thatcher and the Arming of Iraq (1995)


Lomardi’s business card ironically read “Death Defying Acts of Art and Conspiracy”. He was found dead in his studio, march 2000, officially declared a suicide in the police report. His friends assume he had just put together one chart too many, why would he kill himself just as his career was about to go to the next level after two successful solo shows?Although he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression) it is suggested that the strain of recreating one of his masterpieces (the BCCI-ICIC & FAB, 1972-91, which was destroyed by the sprinkler system in Lombardi’s apartment), and of living in New York City, and the destruction of his car by a taxi, as well as the stress of imminent success, all contributed to his suicide. Still his friends assume otherwise. For sure Lombardi’s drawings are mandalas of conspiracy, flow charts of shady deals and shaky agents, and org charts of world-class con men, revealing the genealogy of wickedness in the highest places of corporate and government power. Also there is the story that a few weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an FBI agent called the Whitney Museum of American Art and asked to see a drawing on exhibit there. The piece was by Mark Lombardi, using just a pencil and a huge sheet of paper, Lombardi had created an intricate pattern of curves and arcs to illustrate the links between global finance and international terrorism.

An exhibit of Lombardi’s art organized by New York-based Independent Curators International (ICI) made a traveling exhibition curated by Robert Hobbs: “Mark Lombardi: Global Networks” consists of 25 drawings, some as large as 4′ x 12′.

One Response to “visualized fields of information”

  1. You really produced a number of outstanding ideas with your blog,
    “visualized fields of information Agudeza’s Blog”. I may wind up coming to ur web page eventually. Thank you -Hung

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