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