John Baldessari. Photo: Daisy Arts, 1984

 

John Baldessari (1932–2020) was a pioneer of American conceptual art. Through his rejection of traditional notions and boundaries, and his expansion of our understanding of what art can be, he became one of the best-known artists of our time. Baldessari was based in Los Angeles and profoundly impacted several generations of visual artists—from David Salle and Jack Goldstein to Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger. He has been associated with the gallery since 1995.

 

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If there was a connecting thread in Baldessari’s multifaceted oeuvre, it was his willingness to grapple with the clichés and expectations that shape a viewer’s perception of a work of art. Baldessari’s Cremation Project (1970), when he rejected the painted image by ceremonially burning all the paintings that he had made between 1953 and 1966 (and could still access), verges on the legendary. Other, equally well-known works show the artist directing his incisive humor against conceptual tropes as well. One example is his performance and video I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art (1971), in which he copies the titular sentence over and over in a ruled notebook in what amounts to a kind of schoolboy punishment. Viewers of Baldessari Sings LeWitt (1972), another example, are treated to the artist’s rendition, in song, of Sol LeWitt’s thirty-five Sentences on Conceptual Art (1968).

Baldessari created a wide range of different works in his long career, with output that included film stills strategically adorned with colored dots, art-philosophical jokes in which text about the image replaces the actual image, motifs serially reconstructed as monochrome Pantone color plates and much more. His art relied on the insight that pictures are constituted first and foremost in the minds of viewers. The artist often pointed to the influence of the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss, as well as the French New Wave, and in particular the films of Jean-Luc Godard. Key strategies of his work included the associative connecting of words with other words, the juxtaposing of images and jolty combinations of words and pictures. He was interested in the spaces between these juxtapositions, the elements that are still missing or remain hidden. Baldessari was particularly attuned to the gaps that develop between the meaning of individual elements and how the viewer fills them in with his or her own subjective take on the work.

In this way, Baldessari challenges the passive gaze and the beholder’s sense of security. His work toys with the desires and expectations of viewers, appealing to their imaginations, their memories and their tendency to read a story into every image. His pieces lead to a point where understanding seems within grasp but still remains elusive, disappointing the viewer’s desire for narration and urging them to come up with their own story.

Characterized by an unshackled and uninhibited take on art and the world in which it is made, his oeuvre shimmers with a cheerful lack of concern, a tidy laconicism. Yet it also has a surprising urgency, an unexpected emotional impact, a sudden poetry, and an uncompromising freedom. Anything resembling preconceived meaning, his works seems to say, should be pushed aside, and replaced with an invitation to the viewer to think anew.

 

A Brief History of John Baldessari
LACMA, Los Angeles, 2012
© Supermarché / Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

 

Announcing Estate Representation

 

Estate of John Baldessari

Photo: Manfredi Gioacchini, 2015

 

Sprüth Magers is honored to announce the global representation of the Estate of John Baldessari (1931–2020), extending the gallery’s decades-long relationship with the celebrated and beloved conceptual artist. He had numerous exhibitions at the gallery over the past several decades, including group shows in 1988, 1991 and 1993 and solo exhibitions in 1995, 1997 and 1999, followed by more than a dozen solo and group exhibitions across the Sprüth Magers’ international locations. The gallery looks forward to extending Baldessari’s unparalleled legacy alongside the Estate in the years to come. 

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Estate of John Baldessari

Photo: Manfredi Gioacchini, 2015

 

Sprüth Magers is honored to announce the global representation of the Estate of John Baldessari (1931–2020), extending the gallery’s decades-long relationship with the celebrated and beloved conceptual artist. He had numerous exhibitions at the gallery over the past several decades, including group shows in 1988, 1991 and 1993 and solo exhibitions in 1995, 1997 and 1999, followed by more than a dozen solo and group exhibitions across the Sprüth Magers’ international locations. The gallery looks forward to extending Baldessari’s unparalleled legacy alongside the Estate in the years to come. 

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Publication

 

Estate of John Baldessari

Photo: Ingo Kniest

John Baldessari
The Story Underneath
Published by Sprüth Magers

The Story Underneath documents Sprüth Magers’ homonymous exhibition, curated by Nana Bahlmann, that explores the process behind John Baldessari’s pictorial reinventions. Collecting images and manipulating them in various ways, Baldessari examined their complex and ambiguous narrative potential. Produced as preparatory works and sketches for his celebrated large-scale pieces, the artist’s rarely-shown maquettes – artworks in their own right – from the early 1980s to the 2000s pull back the curtain on how mundane visual signals are re-appropriated and transformed into complex meditations on the construction of meaning within and through images. The catalogue, designed after one of the artist’s notebooks, grants extraordinary insight into his particular way of seeing, thinking and composing, with many of these works on paper revealing the sources – film stills, lobby cards and found photographs – for the vast trove from which he drew inspiration over the course of his influential six-decade-long career.

142 x 162 mm
174 pages
68 removable images with works by John Baldessari
Text by Nana Bahlmann
50 USD (excl. taxes and shipping)

The catalogue will be available in all Sprüth Magers galleries. Please inquire onsite or by email.

Details
Estate of John Baldessari

Photo: Ingo Kniest

John Baldessari
The Story Underneath
Published by Sprüth Magers

The Story Underneath documents Sprüth Magers’ homonymous exhibition, curated by Nana Bahlmann, that explores the process behind John Baldessari’s pictorial reinventions. Collecting images and manipulating them in various ways, Baldessari examined their complex and ambiguous narrative potential. Produced as preparatory works and sketches for his celebrated large-scale pieces, the artist’s rarely-shown maquettes – artworks in their own right – from the early 1980s to the 2000s pull back the curtain on how mundane visual signals are re-appropriated and transformed into complex meditations on the construction of meaning within and through images. The catalogue, designed after one of the artist’s notebooks, grants extraordinary insight into his particular way of seeing, thinking and composing, with many of these works on paper revealing the sources – film stills, lobby cards and found photographs – for the vast trove from which he drew inspiration over the course of his influential six-decade-long career.

142 x 162 mm
174 pages
68 removable images with works by John Baldessari
Text by Nana Bahlmann
50 USD (excl. taxes and shipping)

The catalogue will be available in all Sprüth Magers galleries. Please inquire onsite or by email.

Works
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Two Hotdogs (One with Reaching Person), 1990

John Baldessari
Two Hotdogs (One with Reaching Person), 1990
Color photographs, vinyl paint, acrylic paint
208 × 168 cm
82 × 66 1/8 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
The Space Between Gun and Cigarette., 2019

John Baldessari
The Space Between Gun and Cigarette., 2019
Varnished inkjet prints on canvas with acrylic paint
137.5 × 146.4 × 3.8 cm
54 1/8 × 57 5/8 × 1 1/2 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Cast / Crutch / Ring, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Cast / Crutch / Ring, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
209.23 × 150.18 × 10.16 cm (framed)
82 3/8 × 59 1/8 × 4 inches (framed)

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Beethoven‘s Trumpet (With Ear) Opus # 133, 2007

John Baldessari
Beethoven‘s Trumpet (With Ear) Opus # 133, 2007
Resin, fibre glass, bronze, aluminium, electronics
Ear: h 179 × w 110 × d 42 cm
Trumpet: 224 × 130 cm (diameter)
Ear: h 70 1/2 × w 43 1/4 × d 16 1/2 inches
Trumpet: 88 1/8 × 51 1/8 inches (diameter)

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Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Double Vision: LeWitt (Yellow), 2011

John Baldessari
Double Vision: LeWitt (Yellow), 2011
Varnished archival print on canvas with oil paint
189.2 × 137.2 cm
74 1/2 × 54 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Gavel, 1987

John Baldessari
Gavel, 1987
B/W photography, vinyl paint
122 × 76 × 7.5 cm
48 × 30 × 3 inches

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Study for Blasted Allegories (Return), 1978

John Baldessari
Study for Blasted Allegories (Return), 1978
Seven color photographs with paint marker and pencil on board
40.6 × 101.6 cm
16 × 40 inches

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
MEDITERRANEAN BUILDING ELMWOOD After you., 2017

John Baldessari
MEDITERRANEAN BUILDING ELMWOOD After you., 2017
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic paint
158.8 × 137.2 × 3.8 cm
62 1/2 × 54 × 1 1/2 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002
Eight digital photographic prints (four with acrylic paint) mounted on foam PVC board
216 × 209 cm
85 × 82 1/4 inches

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Bond, 1988

John Baldessari
Bond, 1988
Black and white photographs, vinyl paint
121.9 × 198.1 cm (framed)
48 × 78 inches (framed)

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Double Feature: Edge of Doom, 2011

John Baldessari
Double Feature: Edge of Doom, 2011
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic and oil paint
243.8 × 204.5 cm
96 × 80 1/2 inches

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Examining Pictures, 1966–88

John Baldessari
Examining Pictures, 1966–88
Acrylic and oil on canvas
172.7 × 143.5 cm
68 × 56 1/2 inches

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Brutus Killed Caesar, 1976

John Baldessari
Brutus Killed Caesar, 1976
Gelatin silver print mounted on board; in three parts
273.1 × 249.6 cm
107 1/2 × 98 1/4 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Commissioned Painting: A Painting by Pat Nelson, 1969

John Baldessari
Commissioned Painting: A Painting by Pat Nelson, 1969
Acrylic and oil on canvas
155.5 × 120 × 5 cm (framed)
61 1/8 × 47 1/4 × 2 inches (framed)

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers, 2009

John Baldessari
Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers, 2009
Memory foam, polyurethane rubber, rigid polyurethane, wood
Ear: 130 × 264 × 148 cm
Noses each: 88 × 56 × 43 cm (without flowers)
Ear: 51.2 × 104 × 58.3 inches
Noses each: 34.6 × 22 × 17 inches (without flowers)

More views
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Flaw (with Rider), 1990

John Baldessari
Flaw (with Rider), 1990
Colour photographs with vinyl paint
213.7 × 127 × 38.1 cm
84 1/8 × 50 × 15 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari
Phil Works In The Kitchen…, 2015

John Baldessari
Phil Works In The Kitchen…, 2015
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic paint
177.5 × 136.8 × 4.1 cm
69 7/8 × 53 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches

Details
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Two Hotdogs (One with Reaching Person), 1990
Color photographs, vinyl paint, acrylic paint
208 × 168 cm
82 × 66 1/8 inches

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
The Space Between Gun and Cigarette., 2019
Varnished inkjet prints on canvas with acrylic paint
137.5 × 146.4 × 3.8 cm
54 1/8 × 57 5/8 × 1 1/2 inches

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Cast / Crutch / Ring, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
209.23 × 150.18 × 10.16 cm (framed)
82 3/8 × 59 1/8 × 4 inches (framed)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Beethoven‘s Trumpet (With Ear) Opus # 133, 2007
Resin, fibre glass, bronze, aluminium, electronics
Ear: h 179 × w 110 × d 42 cm
Trumpet: 224 × 130 cm (diameter)
Ear: h 70 1/2 × w 43 1/4 × d 16 1/2 inches
Trumpet: 88 1/8 × 51 1/8 inches (diameter)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Beethoven‘s Trumpet (With Ear) Opus # 133, 2007

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Beethoven‘s Trumpet (With Ear) Opus # 133, 2007 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Double Vision: LeWitt (Yellow), 2011
Varnished archival print on canvas with oil paint
189.2 × 137.2 cm
74 1/2 × 54 inches

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Gavel, 1987
B/W photography, vinyl paint
122 × 76 × 7.5 cm
48 × 30 × 3 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Gavel, 1987 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Gavel, 1987 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Study for Blasted Allegories (Return), 1978
Seven color photographs with paint marker and pencil on board
40.6 × 101.6 cm
16 × 40 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Study for Blasted Allegories (Return), 1978 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Study for Blasted Allegories (Return), 1978 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Study for Blasted Allegories (Return), 1978 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
MEDITERRANEAN BUILDING ELMWOOD After you., 2017
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic paint
158.8 × 137.2 × 3.8 cm
62 1/2 × 54 × 1 1/2 inches

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002
Eight digital photographic prints (four with acrylic paint) mounted on foam PVC board
216 × 209 cm
85 × 82 1/4 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Bond, 1988
Black and white photographs, vinyl paint
121.9 × 198.1 cm (framed)
48 × 78 inches (framed)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Bond, 1988 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Bond, 1988 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Bond, 1988 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Double Feature: Edge of Doom, 2011
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic and oil paint
243.8 × 204.5 cm
96 × 80 1/2 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Double Feature: Edge of Doom, 2011 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Double Feature: Edge of Doom, 2011 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Examining Pictures, 1966–88
Acrylic and oil on canvas
172.7 × 143.5 cm
68 × 56 1/2 inches

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Examining Pictures, 1966–88 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Brutus Killed Caesar, 1976
Gelatin silver print mounted on board; in three parts
273.1 × 249.6 cm
107 1/2 × 98 1/4 inches

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Commissioned Painting: A Painting by Pat Nelson, 1969
Acrylic and oil on canvas
155.5 × 120 × 5 cm (framed)
61 1/8 × 47 1/4 × 2 inches (framed)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers, 2009
Memory foam, polyurethane rubber, rigid polyurethane, wood
Ear: 130 × 264 × 148 cm
Noses each: 88 × 56 × 43 cm (without flowers)
Ear: 51.2 × 104 × 58.3 inches
Noses each: 34.6 × 22 × 17 inches (without flowers)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers, 2009 (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers (detail)

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Flaw (with Rider), 1990
Colour photographs with vinyl paint
213.7 × 127 × 38.1 cm
84 1/8 × 50 × 15 inches

Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Phil Works In The Kitchen…, 2015
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic paint
177.5 × 136.8 × 4.1 cm
69 7/8 × 53 7/8 × 1 5/8 inches

Details
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Current and Upcoming
Estate of John Baldessari
New Ground: Jacob Samual and Contemporary Etching, installation view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Jonathan Dorado

New Ground. Jacob Samuel and Contemporary Etching
Group Exhibition
The Museum of Modern Art – MoMa, New York
Through March 23, 2024

What makes a 500-year-old printing process new? Master printer and publisher Jacob Samuel has brought etchings—prints created by transferring ink from a metal plate to paper—into the 21st century through collaborations with more than 60 contemporary artists. Some of the artists had never made prints; others had hated the process. But with Samuel’s guidance, they all adapted this historic technique to their artistic visions. New Ground: Jacob Samuel and Contemporary Etching gathers the resulting books and print portfolios to show the flexibility of etching and its reinvention for a contemporary world.

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Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (With Smog).
Group Exhibition
The Broad, Los Angeles
Through April 7, 2024

The Broad is pleased to announce Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog), an exhibition drawn entirely from the Broad collection, showcasing works by Los Angeles based-artists. Drawing its title from a John Baldessari work, the exhibition includes reflections on L.A. as a city in flux and turmoil, and on societal issues that extend far beyond the city. Originally the exhibition was a Spring 2020 show poised to open when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, leaving the project unrealized. Now re-envisioned, Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog) mines the paradoxes captured in Baldessari’s title through a more expansive, post-2020 lens featuring a wider spectrum of LA-based artists and practices in the evolving Broad collection.

Link
Estate of John Baldessari
John Baldessari, Buildings=Guns=People: Desire, Knowledge, And Hope (With Smog), 1986. Courtesy the Broad
Estate of John Baldessari
Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection, installation view, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, February 14, 2019–September 19, 2021. Photo by Bobby Rogers, courtesy of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection
Group Exhibition
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Through May 5, 2024

The Walker’s newest collection exhibition is organized by five familiar themes: portraiture, the interior scene, landscape, still life, and abstraction. Each of these areas features a diverse range of artists whose approaches to their subjects are often unconventional, innovative, and even surprising.
With more than 100 works—painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video installations—the exhibition Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection invites us to become reacquainted with favorites from the collection and discover new pieces by artists who are reinventing genres we thought we knew.

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Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Estate of John Baldessari

Mondi Possibili
Henni Alftan, John Baldessari, Cao Fei, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Lucy Dodd, Robert Elfgen, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Jenny Holzer, Donald Judd, Karen Kilimnik, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, David Ostrowski, Michail Pirgelis, Sterling Ruby, Thomas Scheibitz, Andreas Schulze, Hyun-Sook Song, Robert Therrien, Rosemarie Trockel, Kaari Upson, Andrea Zittel
August 31–September 14, 2023
Seoul

Mondi Possibili highlights the interplay between art and design and explores the many ways in which experimentation with material, technique and scale can reveal the hidden narratives, quiet drama and humor in the everyday items that furnish our lives as well as our imaginations. Connected through a paradigm of the possible, all artworks on show examine familiar objects – citing, celebrating, adapting or appropriating them – offering surprising, playful or unsettling approaches that open up a range of “possible worlds.” This will be the fourth edition of Sprüth Magers’ Mondi Possibili – first titled by Pasquale Leccese – showcasing significant themes in the selected artists’ works as well as the gallery’s longstanding heritage. Its three previous iterations were presented in 1989, 2006 and 2007 in Cologne, where the gallery’s history is firmly rooted, and art and design have intersected for many decades.

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John Baldessari
The Story Underneath
September 9–October 29, 2022
New York

Sprüth Magers is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition at its New York space, a presentation of over seventy-five of John Baldessari’s maquettes dating from the early 1980s to the 2000s, curated by Nana Bahlmann. Created as preparatory works and sketches for his celebrated large-scale pieces, these dynamic works on paper contain and reveal the artist’s original source materials from his vast image collection, from which he freely extracted, combined and thus re-contextualized elements to create his works. Together, the maquettes grant extraordinary insight into Baldessari’s inspiring way of seeing and distinct image-making process.

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Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
The Space Between
June 12–September 11, 2021
Los Angeles

The exhibition presents John Baldessari’s final series of thirty paintings, The Space Between (2019), that demonstrate the artist’s characteristic combining of text and image. Through spatial overlays and excisions, the works at once deflect and direct our attention, while also betraying the processes by which we encode and decode the world around us. Simultaneously banal, surprising and poignant, Baldessari’s last works beautifully encapsulate the thrust of his artistic project as a whole: to explore the amorphous spaces between things, people and ideas.

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GO FIGURE!?
Henni Alftan, John Baldessari, Cao Fei, George Condo, Diane Dal-Pra, Thomas Demand, Alex Foxton, Lenz Geerk, Elizabeth Glaessner, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Oscar yi Hou, Gary Hume, Clementine Keith-Roach, Karen Kilimnik, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jo Messer, Pamela Rosenkranz, Sterling Ruby, Thomas Scheibitz, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, Andro Wekua
May 19–May 26, 2021

GO FIGURE!? is an online exhibition in collaboration with Ed Tang and Jonathan Cheung. It presents works by artists from Sprüth Magers roster alongside a selection of emerging artists from around the globe and across various media, aiming to welcome a playful dialogue between the exhibiting artists and works.

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Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
October 27–December 9, 2017
Los Angeles

The exhibition features twenty-seven works from Baldessari’s new series of large-scale paintings based on the ubiquitous Emojis. From his earliest text paintings in the late 1960s to his more recent ‘storyboard paintings’, he has always reveled in the playful dislocation between text and image, expanded here in this most recent body of work. Created earlier this year, the Emoji paintings focus on the increasingly complex ways in which we exchange and interpret information in everyday life. Emojis’ are a pictograph-specific keyboard that features glyphs in categories such as ‘smileys and people’, ‘animals and nature’, ‘food and drink’, ‘objects’, and ‘flags’. They are increasingly used as a form of electronic communication, but their equivocal nature means that issues of context and cultural specificity often complicate their interpretation by recipients – it is this theme that the artist explores in his paintings. 

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John Baldessari
February 24–April 9, 2016
Los Angeles

Sprüth Magers has been exhibiting John Baldessari for almost 30 years, and we are delighted to open our Los Angeles gallery with one of the west coast’s greatest living artists. Featuring banal found photographs, altered with his trademark blocks of rich colour, accompanied by equally banal snippets of text that appear like captions beneath the images, the new paintings present the viewer with a pleasing conundrum. Text and image are sutured together on the picture plane, yet the viewer will struggle to find any useful correspondence between them.

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Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Storyboard (in 4 Parts)
September 14–November 2, 2013
Berlin

John Baldessari's uninhibited and tabooless perspective onto art and the world in which it arises, along with his ambivalent attitude toward painting, Concept Art, and Appropriation Art, have had an enduring influence on several generations of visual artists – from David Salle and Jack Goldstein to Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger. The storyboard canvases on display here, measuring up to 2.60 meters in height, were printed in an inkjet process and overpainted with acrylic by Baldessari here and there. Each storyboard consists of two photographs ripped out of newspapers and magazines, a text panel which may implant a scene in the head of the viewer, and a color chart which takes up the hues of the individual pictorial elements.

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John Baldessari
Double Feature
September 23–October 29, 2011
Berlin

Baldessari's focus on allegorical and iconographical traditions is recognizable in his new work-group Double Feature:. What is significant of these image-text montages is the utilization of concrete pictorial motifs from the history of modern art from Henri Matisse, Kurt Schwitters, and Max Ernst, all the way to Francis Picabia. From these models, Baldessari extracts in his customary manner selected elements which are printed onto canvas and are individually overpainted by himself. Oscillating between collage and painting, Baldessari's versions do not consist of decontextualized copies but instead present autonomous originals which repeat painting and its forms of appearance from a different perspective.

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Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

John Baldessari
Hands and/or Feet (Part Two)
November 20, 2009–January 16, 2010
Berlin

Widely considered one of the most influential artists of the last forty years and one of the founding fathers of conceptual art, Baldessari has with this new exhibition both returned to his characteristic strategy of utilising and embellishing found visual material and extended his interest in the physical form and social meaning of particular parts of the human body. Each of the ten large-scale works is composed as a diptych of found photographs or media images including hands and/or feet.

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John Baldessari
Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers (In Stage Setting)
October 12–November 14, 2009
London

Ear Sofa; Nose Sconces with Flowers (In Stage Setting) is the first ever tableau vivant created by acclaimed American artist John Baldessari, a living installation which epitomises the wry wit, visual ingenuity and conceptual vigour which has defined the artist’s practice for almost five decades. The installation centres on an ear-shaped sofa, on which a model sits, posed and poised, flanked on either side by a pair of nose-shaped, wall-mounted sconces. The sofa is framed by a large decorative semi-circular arch, and the gallery’s glass frontage is shrouded by a sheet of sheer stretched silk.

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Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

Source Codes
Kenneth Anger, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Bruce Conner, Richard Hamilton, David Lamelas, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Lucas Samaras, John Stezaker, Paul Thek
June 26–August 29, 2009
Berlin

Source Codes juxtaposes a selection of works by a number of artists and filmmakers from Europe and America who mapped essential conceptual groundwork in the 1960s and 1970s and whose work remains influential to many artists today By examining new ways to rethink and translate visual information and cultural codes in the gaps between Minimalism and Pop Art, and through an interest in process-based performative practice, their work has exerted significant influence on younger artists in a variety of ways.

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Uneasy Angel / Imagine Los Angeles
Doug Aitken, John Baldessari, Patterson Beckwith, Lecia Dole-Recio, Jack Goldstein, Richard Hawkins, Patrick Hill, Sister Corita Kent, Norman M. Klein, Barbara Kruger, David Lamelas, John McCracken, Matthew Monahan, Lari Pittman, Sterling Ruby, Allen Ruppersberg, Lara Schnitger, Kim Schoenstadt, Paul Sietsema, Catherine Sullivan, Robert Therrien, Pae White
curated by Johannes Fricke Waldthausen
September 14–November 3, 2007
Munich

Uneasy Angel / Imagine Los Angeles is a thematic exhibition comprising the creative production of contemporary artists, writers, and filmmakers living and working in Los Angeles. In light of Umberto Eco’s and Jean Baudrillard’s notion of hyperreality, the exhibition perceives Los Angeles as just such a place—with unclear boundaries separating reality and the imaginary.

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Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

Thank You For The Music (London Beat)
Saadane Afif, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Ellen Cantor, Sean Dack, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Christian Holstad, David Lamelas, Los Super Elegantes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, David & Albert Maysles, Jonas Mekas, , Jonathan Monk, Simon Moretti, Paul Morrissey, Dave Muller, Philippe Parreno / Liam Gillick, Phillippe Parreno, Raymond Pettibon, Zbigniew Rogalski, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Meredyth Sparks, Mika Taanila, Wolfgang Tillmans, Keith Tyson, Xavier Veilhan, Banks Violette, Lawrence Weiner, Charlotte Zwerin
curated by Johannes Fricke Waldthausen
June 30–September 2, 2006
London

Thank You For The Music addresses the recent history of music. The exhibition examines music and pop culture, their various market mechanisms, and the liberation from the traditional copyright restrictions as a ubiquitous source of artistic inspiration – one that has become a global phenomenon and a permanent aspect of everyday experience. Drawing on a selection of more then 30 contributions by contemporary international artists, filmmakers, and musicians, the project attempts to position music and culture within a larger social context.

Estate of John Baldessari

Thank You For The Music
Saadane Afif, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Pash Buzari, Bruce Conner, Sean Dack, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Simon English, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Christian Holstad, David Lamelas, Arto Lindsay / Matthew Barney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, Jonas Mekas, , Jonathan Monk, Simon Moretti, Paul Morrissey, Raymond Pettibon, Zbigniew Rogalski, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Frank Stella, Thaddeus Strode, Mika Taanila, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Essi Utriainen, Mayer Vaisman, Banks Violette
November 24, 2005–February 11, 2006
Munich

The exhibition Thank You For The Music examines music and pop culture, their various market mechanisms and the liberation from traditional copyright restrictions as a ubiquitous source of artistic inspiration — one that has become a global phenomenon and a permanent aspect of everyday experience. Drawing on a selection of contributions by more than 30 international artists, filmmakers and musicians, the show attempts to position intersections between visual arts, music culture and music history within a larger social context.

Shadow and Light
Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Fengel, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Dan Flavin, Sylvie Fleury, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Thomas Grünfeld, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Jenny Holzer, Axel Kasseböhmer, Stefan Kern, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Louise Lawler, Anne Loch, Paul Morrison, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Bruce Nauman, Manuel Ocampo, Nam June Paik, Hirsch Perlman, Lari Pittman, Barbara Probst, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Paul Sietsema, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, Martin Wöhrl, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
July 26–August 31, 2003
Salzburg

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers will open a temporary space in Salzburg together with their London partner Simon Lee for the duration of the Salzburg Festival. One of the main reasons for this was the fact that the galleries are traditionally closed in August and that exhibition operations are shut down, but at the same time cultural life is at its peak in Salzburg, not far from our Munich location. It makes sense to contribute something to the cultural climate with a precisely formulated group exhibition and at the same time to reach a sophisticated international audience.

Estate of John Baldessari
Estate of John Baldessari

20th Anniversary Show
John Baldessari, Alighiero Boetti, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Axel Kasseböhmer, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Nina Pohl, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Andrea Zittel, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
April 25–October 18, 2003
Cologne

In 1983, Monika Sprüth opened her Cologne based gallery with a solo show by Andreas Schulze. Starting from the idea to establish a forum for young and unknown artists, the central focus of the gallery concept was developed in the discourse of the 80s. The gallery program was completed by recourses to artistic attitudes of the last 40 years. This research, motivated by reflection on contemporary art history, was more and more realized in cooperation with Philomene Magers who directed her Bonn gallery since 1992. After a few years of loose cooperation, Monika Sprüth Gallery and Philomene Magers Gallery aligned with each other after, and together the Monika Sprüth / Philomene Magers Gallery opened up in Munich in 1999.

Estate of John Baldessari

Reflexions
Carl André, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Sylvie Fleury, Isa Genzken, Thomas Grünfeld, Stephan Jung, Karen Kilimnik, Jeff Koons, Louise Lawler, Robert Morris, Paul Morrison, Andreas Schulze, Andy Warhol, Franz West, Heimo Zobernig
January 24–March 1, 2002
Munich

John Baldessari
NATIONAL CITY. Paintings from 1967 and 1996
May 23–July 31, 1997
Cologne

"Living in National City and working in a studio with no windows, I had a lot of time to think about things and the state of art, and one of the things I began thinking about – probably coming out simultaneously from teaching – was the function of art. When I say 'function', it's interesting because I had this social conscience about trying to find some sort of life's work that would make some sense to me and the world. Not that what I need is some social fulfillment that I did somebody some good – I can never be convinced that art did anybody any good – but I was thinking in that direction."

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Estate of John Baldessari
Press

John Baldessari on his giant emoji paintings: ‘I just wondered what they’d look like large’
The Guardian, article by Matt Stromberg, November 27, 2017

John Baldessari’s Favourite Things
The Wall Street Journal, article by John Baldessari and Christopher Ross, March 5, 2014

John Baldessari
The Believer, interview by Eleanor Morgan, November/December 2010

No More Boring Art: John Baldessari’s crusade
The New Yorker, article by Calvin Tomkins, October 18, 2010

Seeing the World Askance
Art Monthly, interview by Simon Patterson, November 2009

Somebody To Talk To
TATE ETC., interview by Jessica Morgan, Autumn 2009

Biography

John Baldessari (1931–2020) lived and worked in Venice, California. Selected solo exhibitions include Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2020), Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach (2019), Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2017), Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2015), Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2013), Fondazione Prada, Milan (2010), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2011) and Tate Modern, London (2009), which traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona (2010), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010), and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010–2011). Selected group exhibitions include the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) at which he was honored with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, Whitney Biennial (2009, 1983), Documenta VII (1982), Documenta V (1972) and the Carnegie International (1985–86).

Education
1957–59 Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles
Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles
1955–57 M.A., San Diego State College
1955 University of California, Los Angeles
1954–55 University of California, Berkeley
1949–53 B.A., San Diego State College
Teaching
1996–2007 Professor of Art, University of California, Los Angeles
1970–88 Professor of Art, California Institue of Arts, Valencia
1967–70 Professor of Art, University of California, San Diego
Honorary Degrees
2011 Doctor of Fine Arts, California College of the Arts, San Francisco
2006 Doctor of Fine Arts, Burren College of Art, National University of Ireland
2003 Doctor of Fine Arts, San Diego State University and the California State University
1990 Doctor of Fine Arts, Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design of the New School for Social Research, Los Angeles
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2017 CalArts’ REDCAT Gala Honoree, Los Angeles
2016 IPCNY Spring Benefit Honoree, New York
2015 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Medal Award
2014 National Medal of Arts, The National Endowment of the Arts
2015 MOCA Gala Honoree, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
John Baldessari Studios dedication. Cal Arts. Valencia
2012 Kaiserring der Stadt Goslar
2011 Honoree, Art + Film Gala. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Alumni Achievement Award, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, New York
Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work, College Art Association, New York
2010 Rob Pruitt’s Art Awards, Guggenheim Museum, New York
2009 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
Artist of the Year, American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, New York
New Museum Gala Honoree, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
2008 American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
B.A.C.A. International 2008, Biennale Award for Contemporary Art, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht
Annual Tribute Award, Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, Washington DC
2007 Archives of American Art Medal, The Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.
International Association of Art Critics, 2006-2007 AICA/USA Awards, Los Angeles (for exhibit at Margo Leavin Gallery, CA)
2006 Certificate of Recognition, The Los Angeles Convention and Visitor Bureau, Los Angeles
Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative, Honoring, New York
2005 Americans for the Arts, Lifetime Achievement Award, New York
2004 American Academy of Arts & Science Fellowship, Cambridge, MA
2003 2nd Place, Best Show Commercial Gallery National, US Art Critics Association (for exhibit at Margo Leavin Gallery, CA)
2002 Best Web-Based Original Art, AICA USA Best Show Awards, Artist Space, New York
Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow, sponsored by the University of Southern California, Los Angeles
1999 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, The College Art Association, New York
SPECTRUM – International Award for Photography, Stiftung Niedersachsen
L.A. Artcore 11th Annual Award, Los Angeles
1997 Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, CA
Mario Tamayo Award, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles
Honorable Mention of the Jury, The 22nd International Biennial of Graphic Design, Lubljiana, Slovania
1996 Oscar Kokoschka Prize
1986 Guggenheim Fellowship
1982 Norman Wait Harris Prize, The Art Institute of Chicago, 74th American Exhibition, Chicago
Public Collections
Art Institute of Chicago
Central Cultural Art Museum, Mexico City
Cincinnati Art Museum
Denver Art Museum
International Center for Photography, New York
IVAM Center, Valencia
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Migros Museum für Gegenwarstkunst, Zurich
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport
San Diego Museum of Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Sprengel Museum, Hanover
Tate, London
Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Ohio State University
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama