John Baldessari: Movie Scripts/ Art
October 22 – November 22, 2014
Opening Reception: Wednesday, October 22, 6-8 pm
Marian Goodman Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of new work by John Baldessari, Movie Scripts/ Art, 2014 which will open to the public on Wednesday, October 22nd, and run through November 22nd.
Baldessari’s relationship to words and pictures, his pairing of photography and language, was first brought into the realm of art in the Text paintings and Photo-text paintings of the 1960s. Later, his characteristic pairing of image and text, selecting and contrasting unrelated objects, paved the way for a pictorial system assembled of incongruent elements that interact and correlate with each other, allowing for subtle shifts of meaning and context. In later series, such as the National City works, Goya series, Elbows, Tetrads, Prima Facie and onwards, Baldessari broke the canvas into sections representing ways of constructing imagination and the world. This doubling could entail two words, two images, or word and image: it was the bringing of two or more things together that was key … “get(ting) them close enough so there’s some sort of synapse and something new is created – it could … be Dr. Frankenstein-like or it could be meaningful. I do like when a third meaning is created. I find that quite interesting.”
More recently, the Doubles series reinvented this coupling, placing art historical images with texts and disparate titles from film noir or popular songs, asking the viewer to fashion new meaning from old masterpieces. The recent Storyboards (in 4 Parts), and Morsels and Snippets, similarly culled material from newspapers and magazines, placing it with on the one hand, text and color charts, or on the other, high-end food entries, as a commentary on narrative sequencing as well as our cultural preoccupations.
In the current exhibition Movie Scripts/ Art 2014, Baldessari goes one step further, selecting fragments of received art historical images and editing the images down to a detail in order to conceal their art historical lineage, pairing them with texts from movie scripts. This continues a process which he began in Scene/Take…(2014), however here Baldessari applies a chance method to the scripts themselves and chooses to modify his pairings with an inventive collage of both found and fabricated texts – ‘movie scripts’-- in relation to and illustrative of his chosen image:
“The idea was to take fine art and put it into the location of the movie scripts. The script itself is collage – some of the lines come from actual movies and I’ve written others to make the text work with the found image. In this way, the details of old – and for the most part dead – guys’ paintings (from the collection of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, where this work will be exhibited in relation to the historical paintings) become illustrations of the movie scripts. I found this mélange of high art and Hollywood amusing.”
-John Baldessari (2014)
John Baldessari’s recent solo exhibitions include Your Name in Lights at La Monnaie de Paris, which was on view in September/October, as well as John Baldessari: 1+1=1 at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow which ended last November. Forthcoming shows include an exhibition at Städel Museum, Frankfurt in the Fall 2015.
Baldessari’s work is currently included in Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since the 1950s which premiered at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. in the Fall of 2013, traveling to MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg this past Summer/Fall, and will open on November 14th at Kunsthaus Graz, Austria.
John Baldessari has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the 2012 Kaiserring Award by the city of Goslar, Germany (past recipients have included Matthew Barney, David Lynch and Rosemarie Trockel). He was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. In 2008 he received the Biennial Award for Contemporary Art from the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht.
He was the subject of a recent retrospective, “John Baldessari: Pure Beauty,” that retraced his career from 1962 to 2010. Organized by the Tate Modern, London, the exhibit traveled to MACBA Barcelona; LACMA, Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of New York from 2010-2011.
Yale University Press has recently published two volumes of John Baldessari: Catalogue Raisonne: the first in 2012, titled John Baldessari: Catalogue Raisonné : Volume One: 1956-1974 which covers his unique works during the years 1956-1974; and the second, John Baldessari: Catalogue Raisonne: Volume Two: 1975-1986 in 2013. Forthcoming in 2015, Volume Three: 1987-1993 is due to be published.
Please join us at the opening reception for the artist on Wednesday, October 22nd, 6-8 pm.
For further information, please contact the gallery at: 212 977 7160.