John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003
Cologne

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers show new works by John Baldessari.

The exhibition includes works from the INTERSECTION SERIES, on which Baldessari has been working since the beginning of the year. He takes found pictures of different provenance, arranges them in cross and T-shapes and in this way overlaps, i.e. formally crosses, as in a double exposure, manifesting a new level, which he reworks with painterly means.

In many of his groups of works, Baldessari takes images out of their contexts, be it film stills, press photos, somehow found photos, or self-made snapshots, all of which together form a reservoir of images without hierarchy, which the artist makes use of. In many cases, he reworks the photos by almost imperceptible retouching or striking and combinations. In the INTERSECTION SERIES (and on the previous OVERLAP SERIES) these interventions are particularly striking: in the area of the intersection the black and white photos are painted over in colour, creating a double interface between the photographs and the media used.

Baldessari's photo-collages tell stories with many missing links; this discontinuity, the invisible and the unknown evoke personal as well as collective readings. "I really care about meaning in art. I want things to look simple, but to raise issues and to have more than one level of comprehension".

 

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John Baldessari began his work as a painter in the 1950s, but gave up painting in 1966. "I couldn't spend the rest of my life making different combinations of colour". As an end point he set a dramatic action a few years later: in 1970 he burned his entire painterly oeuvre and documented this process photographically after announcing it in the local newspaper. In the same year Baldessari moved from National City - the province - to Santa Monica, where he still lives today. The CREMATION PROJECT is a key work within Baldessari's oeuvre and for Conceptual Art in general.

Baldessari has been teaching at CalArts in Los Angeles since 1971, and is still very influential as a teacher and role model today. There are a striking number of interviews with him, his statements about art, especially his own work, are very precise, simple, insightful and last but not least humorous, certainly this contributes to his qualities as a teacher.

To this day Baldessari mainly uses the media of photography and text, often in combination.
Photography as a medium stands for truth and authenticity in everyday use, and this can still be asserted today, in the digital age. For Baldessari, this was one reason, among others, to use it to realize his conceptual work, following the thought: Why not show people what they think they understand and know, namely photos (and texts)?

Baldessari goes one step further in his strategy, which is of course one of confusion and seduction: "The world constructed by the media seems to be a vivid surrogate for 'real life', whatever that is. I decided that aiming my camera at the television set was just as reasonable as aiming it out the window".

 

Installation Views
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

Details
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Junctions and Intersections
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Cologne, October 31, 2002–February 28, 2003

Details
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Exhibited Works
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, Woman (with Hat) and Woman Painting Toe Nails, 2002

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, Woman (with Hat) and Woman Painting Toe Nails, 2002
Mixed media
214 × 206 cm
84 1/4 × 81 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, Duelling Figures and Ballerinas, 2002

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, Duelling Figures and Ballerinas, 2002
Mixed media
215 × 208 cm
84 5/8 × 82 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junction Series: Seascape, Landspace, Woman, and Giraffe (Captured), 2002
More Views

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
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, People Eating (with Chopsticks) and curious Person, 2002

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, People Eating (with Chopsticks) and curious Person, 2002
Mixed media
216 × 209 cm
85 × 82 1/4 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape and Caravan (with Tall Tree), 2002

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape and Caravan (with Tall Tree), 2002
Digital fotographic print and acrylic on sintra plate
overall size: 184 × 164.6 cm
4 parts (framed)
overall size: 72 3/8 × 64 7/8 inches
4 parts (framed)

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Intersections Series: Seascape and Man Grasping Frog (with Occluded Person), 2002

John Baldessari
Intersections Series: Seascape and Man Grasping Frog (with Occluded Person), 2002
Digital photographic print with acrylic on sintra plate
185 × 163 cm
72 7/8 × 64 1/8 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape Man with Cane and Bird, 2002
More Views

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape Man with Cane and Bird, 2002
Digital photographic print with acrylic on sintra plate
216 × 214 cm
85 × 84 1/4 inches

More Views
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Seascape Woman Holding Ballon, and Man with Cigar, 2002

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Seascape Woman Holding Ballon, and Man with Cigar, 2002
Mixed media
216 × 216 cm
85 × 85 inches

Details
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, Woman (with Hat) and Woman Painting Toe Nails, 2002
Mixed media
214 × 206 cm
84 1/4 × 81 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, Duelling Figures and Ballerinas, 2002
Mixed media
215 × 208 cm
84 5/8 × 82 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

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

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

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

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

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

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

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

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Junction Series: Landscape Seascape, People Eating (with Chopsticks) and curious Person, 2002
Mixed media
216 × 209 cm
85 × 82 1/4 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape and Caravan (with Tall Tree), 2002
Digital fotographic print and acrylic on sintra plate
overall size: 184 × 164.6 cm
4 parts (framed)
overall size: 72 3/8 × 64 7/8 inches
4 parts (framed)

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersections Series: Seascape and Man Grasping Frog (with Occluded Person), 2002
Digital photographic print with acrylic on sintra plate
185 × 163 cm
72 7/8 × 64 1/8 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape Man with Cane and Bird, 2002
Digital photographic print with acrylic on sintra plate
216 × 214 cm
85 × 84 1/4 inches

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape Man with Cane and Bird, 2002 (detail)

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape Man with Cane and Bird, 2002 (detail)

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne
John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Landscape Man with Cane and Bird, 2002 (detail)

John Baldessari – Junctions and Intersections – Cologne

John Baldessari
Intersection Series: Seascape Woman Holding Ballon, and Man with Cigar, 2002
Mixed media
216 × 216 cm
85 × 85 inches

Details
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