John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

 

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

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are delighted to present ‘Hands And/Or Feet (Part Two)’, an exhibition of new work by American artist John Baldessari. 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. The instructive and amusing contrasts between the images are then reworked with the artist’s typically vivid and witty tactic of over-painting and colouring-in particular elements of the images. Such multipart and multicoloured works have been a prominent feature of the artist’s practice for two decades and are rooted in Baldessari’s intense fascination with language and image and their relationship with one another. For Baldessari, sequences of images, like sequences of letters or words, confer narrative and communicate meaning. Exploring the processes behind the dynamics of creative expression and human understanding is the essential enquiry which animates the serious play at work in Baldessari’s art.

 

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Baldessari has said that he is ‘more interested in things that have escaped attention’, a statement which points to how and why the selected colouration and cropping of pre-existing visual material occurs as it does. For Baldessari, colours and shapes as well as images are codes, signifiers which inform how visual experiences are ‘read’ and what meanings can be derived from such experiences. Much of Baldessari’s work has involved creatively and insistently exploring how mixing together different kinds of communication – pictorial, verbal, chromatic, physical – create differing modes of comprehension. A recurrent motif in Baldessari’s art has been the obscuring of whole faces, which are commonly regarded as the aesthetic repository of human identity, and instead focussing on isolated bodily features – sometimes ears and noses or arms and legs, in this case hands and feet. This practice untaps and exploits the comic visual potential of the appendages and extremities of the human form and probes the range of social associations and meanings they carry. The emphasis and interest on extremities is further heightened by the three-dimensionality of the works in ‘Hands And/Or Feet (Part Two)’ as they are in relief, an effect which also blends and blurs generic boundaries between photography, painting and sculpture. Why we look at things the way we do and derive particular understandings from certain visual situations is an important question that Baldessari’s art asks, and these new works pose these questions anew with a distinctive vibrancy and insight.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details
John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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

Details
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Exhibited Works
John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Arrow / Glass / Duck, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Arrow / Glass / Duck, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.52 × 105.41 × 10.16 cm (framed)
95 7/8 × 41 1/2 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Eyepatch / Prosthesis (Knife), 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Eyepatch / Prosthesis (Knife), 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
149.86 × 172.72 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 × 68 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Dog / Egg / Chicken, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Dog / Egg / Chicken, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.52 × 119.06 × 10.16 cm (framed)
95 7/8 × 46 7/8 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Pitchfork / Person, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Pitchfork / Person, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
150.5 × 197.8 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 1/4 × 77 7/8 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Guitar / Hot Dog, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Guitar / Hot Dog, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.5 × 132.1 × 10.2 cm (framed)
95 7/8 × 52 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Valise / Serpent / Fist, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Valise / Serpent / Fist, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
150.18 × 177.8 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 1/8 × 70 7/8 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
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)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Eyeglasses (Broken) / Foot / Person, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Eyeglasses (Broken) / Foot / Person, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
240.67 × 150.5 × 10.16 cm (framed)
94 3/4 × 59 1/4 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Skeleton / Food / Killer Whale, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Skeleton / Food / Killer Whale, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.21 × 132.72 × 10.16 cm (framed)
95 3/4 × 52 1/4 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin
John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Shoe / Tongue / Penguin, 2009

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Shoe / Tongue / Penguin, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
150.18 × 193.36 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 1/8 × 76 1/8 × 4 inches (framed)

Details
John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Arrow / Glass / Duck, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.52 × 105.41 × 10.16 cm (framed)
95 7/8 × 41 1/2 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Eyepatch / Prosthesis (Knife), 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
149.86 × 172.72 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 × 68 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Dog / Egg / Chicken, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.52 × 119.06 × 10.16 cm (framed)
95 7/8 × 46 7/8 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Pitchfork / Person, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
150.5 × 197.8 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 1/4 × 77 7/8 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Guitar / Hot Dog, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.5 × 132.1 × 10.2 cm (framed)
95 7/8 × 52 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Valise / Serpent / Fist, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
150.18 × 177.8 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 1/8 × 70 7/8 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

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)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Eyeglasses (Broken) / Foot / Person, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
240.67 × 150.5 × 10.16 cm (framed)
94 3/4 × 59 1/4 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Skeleton / Food / Killer Whale, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
243.21 × 132.72 × 10.16 cm (framed)
95 3/4 × 52 1/4 × 4 inches (framed)

John Baldessari – Hands and/or Feet (Part Two) – Berlin

John Baldessari
Hands and / or Feet (Part Two): Shoe / Tongue / Penguin, 2009
Three dimensional archival print laminated with Lexan and mounted on Sintra with acrylic paint
150.18 × 193.36 × 10.16 cm (framed)
59 1/8 × 76 1/8 × 4 inches (framed)

Details
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Selected Press

Kunst mit Hand und Fuß: Baldessari, Gaillard, Maljkovic
Die Welt, review by Andrea Hilgenstock, November 28, 2009