Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads
John Baldessari has long been fascinated by what differentiates a part from a whole, especially when his subject is the human body. To examine this distinction, the pioneering conceptual artist often portrays an isolated feature of the body—a floating nose or a raised eyebrow, for example—over and over again, reproducing the motif in a variety of colors, mediums, and sizes. As its title suggests, “Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads” is a series that focuses on the area between the eyes and the hairline, challenging viewers to determine whether these facial features are a part or a whole. The alarmed expression in “Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads” was also a timely call to action. Baldessari released these sculptures and prints in 2008 and 2009, a time when the economic recession was in full swing. “Aren’t we all worried? These works may be viewed as depicting that condition,” he noted.