John Baldessari

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Biography

Considered one of the founders of conceptual art, John Baldessari was a hugely innovative force in contemporary art.

John Baldessari was born in 1931 in National City, California and died in 2020 in Los Angeles, California. 

Initially trained as a painter, Baldessari began experimenting with text and photography and incorporating them into his work in the mid-1960s, evolving his practice through the 1970s into printmaking, film, books, sculpture and installation. He developed a body of work that demonstrated and disclosed the narrative potential of images and their associative power with text and language. Considered one of the founders of conceptual art, John Baldessari was a hugely innovative force in contemporary art. His use of appropriation, erasure, alteration, and montage to disrupt a narrative or to construct an entirely new meaning out of recombined fragments has been utilized in disparate ways in different bodies of works spanning his career. 

Baldessari's artwork has been featured in more than 300 solo exhibitions and in over 1000 group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His projects include unique works, prints, artist books, videos, films, billboards and public works. His awards and honors include the 2014 National Medal of Arts Award, an award from the International Print Center New York in 2016, memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by La Biennale di Venezia, the City of Goslar Kaiserring in 2012, and the BACA International 2008. He has received honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland, San Diego State University and Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. The John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné, Volumes Five – Six was published by Marian Goodman Gallery in Association with Yale University Press.

Considered one of the founders of conceptual art, John Baldessari was a hugely innovative force in contemporary art.

Exhibitions

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Webinar: Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné

Patrick Pardo, David Salle, Hannah Higgins, David Platzker, and Simon Johnston discuss the artist, his legacy, and his body of work.

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