John Baldessari: Pure Beauty in New York

Check out Baldessari’s retrospective show in Metropolitan Museum of Art!

John Baldessari,The Duress Series: Person Climbing Exterior Wall of Tall Building / Person on Ledge of Tall Building / Person on Girders of Unfinished Tall Building, 2003, Digital prints with acrylic on Sintra,  60 x 180 inches, Ringier Collection, Switzerland © John Baldessari

Baldessari (b. 1931, National City, California) turned from an early career in painting toward photographic images that he combined with text, using the freeways, billboards, and strip malls of Southern California as his frequent sources. In his groundbreaking work of the late 1960s, he transferred snapshots of banal locales around his hometown onto photo-sensitized canvases and hired a sign painter to label them with their locations or excerpts from how-to books on photography. Throughout the whole of his career, Baldessari’s sharp insights into the conventions of art production, the nature of perception, and the relationship of language to mass-media imagery are tempered by a keen sense of humor. The exhibition brings together a full range of the artist’s innovative work over five decades, from his early paintings and phototext works, his combined photographs, and the irregularly shaped and over-painted works of the 1990s, to his most recent production. A selection of his videos and artist’s books will also be included in the exhibition.  More

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