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JAAR > 2020
Look inside

John Baldessari

ISBN: 9783960987956 (PB+ - E)

By combining and colliding the unexpected, the US artist John Baldessari, born 1931, creates conceptual works that raise questions regarding what art is, how art is made, and what art can look like. After concluding in the 1960s that a photographic image or a text were more adequate expressions of his artistic intentions than painting, John Baldessari's practice took a new direction. Since then, Baldessari has combined subjects from the imagery of popular culture with linguistic examinations, creating works that challenge artistic norms and boundaries.

This catalogue, published to accompany the exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, spans Baldessari's entire career and shows the breadth of his artistic practice: you will encounter paintings, photographs, the moving images and the traces of performative acts. The book also includes a wide selection of Baldessari's own writings from 1968-2011.


John Baldessari is best known for his conceptual works that focus on the processes of choice and selection, and that employ a wide range of what were in the beginning of his career non-traditional mediums: photographs, words, texts. In his word paintings from the 1960s, he poses questions about the nature of art - what it is, what it is not, what it looks like, etc. In addition, Baldessari's status as a teacher in Los Angeles is unparalleled also in relation to his understanding that teaching and making art are directly related in their mutual reliance upon a combination of the visual and the verbal to convey ideas through telling stories.

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