Conceptual art is about ideas, not contemplation: it produces philosophical, sometimes wilfully difficult work, where theory became the art itself. For four decades, Baldessari has been making brusque, ironic artworks - themselves high-minded quips on the nature of art, that combine language image and found objects.
One of his most famous works is I Am Making Art, a video piece in which Baldessari makes several arm movements, reciting the phrase, "I am making art," after each gesture. In1970, Baldessari took all of his paintings of them to a mortuary and had them burned. He poured some of the ashes into a book-shaped urn, titling the work Cremation Project.
Luckily for us, he's made some more. His latest series, Miro and Life in General comes to Marian Goodman this January. It's typically high-minded - in each work Baldessari has paired a detail from one particular Miro painting with a seemingly incongruous classic Hollywood film still, which Baldessari refers to as ‘Life in General’.
At 85, it seems, this artist is not done toying with us just yet.
|What||John Baldessari, Marian Goodman|
Marian Goodman Gallery
5-8 Lower John Street, London, W1F 9DY | MAP
|Nearest tube||Tottenham Court Road (underground)|
10 Jan 17 – 25 Feb 17, Tue - Sat, 10am - 6pm
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