25 November 2008 - 10 January 2009
New York

John Baldessari

Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads
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Overview

Marian Goodman Gallery is very pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by John Baldessari. In the current exhibition three-dimensionality and the relationship with space and color play ever-important roles.  ‘Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads’ continues the artist’s exploration of human identity through the fragmentation of parts of the body.  As in prior series ‘Noses & Ears, Etc,’ or Arms and Legs (Specif. Elbows and Knees), Etc’, paintings that the artist did in the fifties are the source.  At the time these works were a result of Baldessari’s immersion in thinking about totality – what was a part and what was a whole – which continues to be a central concern in his work.  Alongside this concentration is his ongoing interest in the relief of motif and ground; the segment as visual syntax; the unexpected hybrid; the merging of photography, painting, and sculpture.

John Baldessari: “Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads”, 2008  
November 25, 2008 – January 10, 2009

Opening Reception: Tuesday, November 25, 6–8 pm   

Marian Goodman Gallery is very pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by John Baldessari that will open to the public on November 25th and will be on view through Saturday, January 10, 2009.

In the current exhibition three-dimensionality and the relationship with space and color play ever-important roles.  ‘Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads’ continues the artist’s exploration of human identity through the fragmentation of parts of the body.  As in prior series ‘Noses & Ears, Etc,’ or Arms and Legs (Specif. Elbows and Knees), Etc’, paintings that the artist did in the fifties are the source.  At the time these works were a result of Baldessari’s immersion in thinking about totality – what was a part and what was a whole – which continues to be a central concern in his work.  Alongside this concentration is his ongoing interest in the relief of motif and ground; the segment as visual syntax; the unexpected hybrid; the merging of photography, painting, and sculpture.

Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads highlights not only the animated dialogue in which painting and photography have long and successfully been engaged in Baldessari’s work, but also the tradition in his work of ‘fragmenting single motifs or areas of a canvas or picture to defy narrative logic and standard interpretation’ …’Hints and omissions were among Baldessari’s key strategies even in his early years’  (Rainer Fuchs).  Baldessari says, ‘I have an earlier work called ‘What to Put in What to Leave Out’. It’s about deprivation, not giving you what you want and forcing you to think about what is there – what you want to be there is not there and something else is there.’ (2006, John Baldessari catalogue, Marian Goodman Gallery, NY)  The artist sees the subject of this series, the isolated and ironic portrayal of foreheads, eyes, and eyebrows as particularly timely, saying ‘Aren’t we all worried? These works may be viewed as depicting that condition.’  - JB

John Baldessari has been an innovative force in contemporary art redefining its parameters to include its role as a visual evocation of language, and leading the way in bringing photography to the forefront of contemporary art.  Over five decades of conceptual practice he has embraced painting, photography, film, video, books, prints, objects and installation.  His use of appropriation, 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, from early text paintings, to conceptual works and found pictures; from erased identity works of the 1980s and 90s to more recent series in the past five years in which he investigates new issues of painting. 

Current projects include a one-man exhibition at Bonnefantenmuseum, The Netherlands, which coincided with the 2008 B.A.C.A. International Award and is now on view through January 2009. Important upcoming projects include a solo show at Haus Estes, Krefeld, from February to June 2009.  In October 2009 a retrospective exhibition will open at the Tate Modern, London, which will travel to MACBA, Barcelona; LACMA, Los Angeles; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through 2011. A multi-volume Catalogue Raisonné of the artist’s work is currently being prepared.  The first volume, covering works from 1953-1978, is projected for release in Spring 2011.

A major retrospective in two parts: Works 1962-1984 at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, and Works: 1984-2005 at Kunsthaus Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz was held in 2005. 

Solo presentations of his work over the past five years have included exhibitions at:  Carre d’Art Musee Contemporain de Nimes, France (2005-2006); Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin (2004); Museo d’Arte Moderna Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Trento, Italy (2000-2001); Sprengel Museum, Hannover, (1999-2000); and Albertina im Adademiehof, Vienna (1999).          

He has received many honors, including the 2008 Biennial Award for Contemporary Art, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands; American Academy of Arts & Letters, 2008; Archives of American Art Medal, Washington, D.C., 2007; the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, 2006-2007; the Lifetime Achievement Award, Americans for the Arts, New York, 2005; and American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2004  He was the recipient in April 2006 of a Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, National University of Ireland.   

Please join us at the opening reception on Tuesday, November 25th, from 6-8 pm.    

For further information, please contact the gallery at: 212 977 7160.

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