John Baldessari was born in National City, California in 1931. Baldessari's artwork has been featured in more than 300 solo exhibitions and in over 1000 group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.
As one of Americas most influential contemporary artist and one of the leading conceptual artists part of the movement known as conceptualism; he pioneered a style that placed an emphasis on ideas over images. He created works that skewed traditional ideas about what was considered fine art and questioned stereotypes about authorship.
He was known for his witty jokes, dry art puns, and shots at the traditional ways of thinking that have penetrated through centuries of art history.
Working with photographs, text, and appropriated materials, he spent decades upending and rethinking what art could and should be.
As the Art world mourns the loss of one of its greats, we want to take a moment and look back at some of Johns best quotes:
- “I was getting tired of hearing the complaint, ’My kid could do this,‘and ‘We don't get it. What's modern art? Blah, blah, blah.‘ And I wondered what would really happen if you gave people what they wanted, something they always look at”
- “Talent is cheap, you have to be possessed or obsessed, rather. You really have to feel like you cannot not do art, and that is something you can't will.”
- “I could never figure out why photography and art had separate histories. So I decided to explore both.”