Collection: John Baldessari

(b. 1931)

Regarded as a pioneer of conceptual art, American artist John Baldessari has worked in wide ranging mediums throughout his long career—paintings, photographs, films, mixed-media works, sculpture, and prints, among them. Over the course of his celebrated career, the artist has remained endlessly curious and committed to exploring the notion of what makes art “Art.”  This exploration is explicitly demonstrated in his seminal work, and first print, I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, 1971. Much of his work has involved appropriated images ranging from film stills of early Hollywood movies to newspaper photographs, found photographs to postwar advertisements.  Baldessari is often credited with shaping the California art scene and has taught, mentored, and influenced a number of distinguished artists including Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, and David Salle.

In 2009 Baldessari was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, the art world's highest honor.  In 2014, he received the National Medal of Arts for his “ambitious work [that] combines photography, painting, and text to push the boundaries of image, making him one of the most influential conceptual artists of our time.” Baldessari has been the subject of many critically acclaimed retrospectives, including the blockbuster exhibition John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, which opened at Tate Modern in 2009, and in 2010 traveled to Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  A multivolume catalogue raisonné is currently being assembled, with three of four volumes completed and published by Yale University Press.