John Baldessari | the artist
The artist John Baldessari
Born June 17 1931, National City, California, USA.
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John Baldessari rose to prominence in the late 1960s, combining Pop Art’s use of mass media imagery with Conceptual arts use of language to create a unique body of work that has become a hallmark of postmodern art. Early in his career, Baldessari began incorporating images and text utilized by the advertising and movie industries into his photo-based art. He appropriated pictures and movie stills, juxtaposing, editing, and cropping them in conjunction with written texts. The resulting montage of photography and language often counters the narrative associations suggested by the isolated scenes and offers a greater plurality of meanings. The layered, often humorous compositions carry disparate connotations, underscoring how relative meaning can be. Throughout his long and celebrated career, Baldessari has continued to play with and critique popular culture, and over time he has increased the scale and visual impact of his work.
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I’m really interested in what conceptual leaps people can make from one bit of information to another and how they can fill the space.
Understanding how these photographs could suggest narratives, Baldessari began to use film stills more and more. He created work from sequences of these found images by bringing together related or disparate photographs, sometimes in a grid, sometimes in linear or freely arranged compositions, but always with some structure or concept underscoring the arrangement…