Skip to Main Content

John Baldessari

American, 1931–2020

66,285 followers
Follow

John Baldessari

American, 1931–2020

66,285
Followers
Biography

It is hard to characterize John Baldessari's varied practice—which includes photomontage, artist’s books, prints, paintings, film, performance, and installation—except through his approach of good-humored irreverence. Baldessari is commonly associated with Conceptual or Minimalist art, though he has called this characterization “a little bit boring.” His two-dimensional works often incorporate found images, composed in layers or presented as distinct pieces with an element of surprise, like a brightly colored geometric shape in the place of a face or a starkly printed sardonic caption. Baldessari has demonstrated a lasting interest in language and semantics, articulating these concerns through the use of puns or the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated images and words, as in his 1978 work Blasted Allegories. His self-referencing photomontages and use of text have been sources of inspiration for countless artists, including Cindy Sherman, David Salle, and Barbara Kruger. Baldessari identifies his own artistic lineage, saying, "I would prefer to go to the source with Duchamp rather than credit Warhol as an influence."

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$4m, Christie's, 2007
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern, and 11 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 26 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Biography

It is hard to characterize John Baldessari's varied practice—which includes photomontage, artist’s books, prints, paintings, film, performance, and installation—except through his approach of good-humored irreverence. Baldessari is commonly associated with Conceptual or Minimalist art, though he has called this characterization “a little bit boring.” His two-dimensional works often incorporate found images, composed in layers or presented as distinct pieces with an element of surprise, like a brightly colored geometric shape in the place of a face or a starkly printed sardonic caption. Baldessari has demonstrated a lasting interest in language and semantics, articulating these concerns through the use of puns or the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated images and words, as in his 1978 work Blasted Allegories. His self-referencing photomontages and use of text have been sources of inspiration for countless artists, including Cindy Sherman, David Salle, and Barbara Kruger. Baldessari identifies his own artistic lineage, saying, "I would prefer to go to the source with Duchamp rather than credit Warhol as an influence."

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$4m, Christie's, 2007
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern, and 11 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 26 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Shows Featuring John Baldessari
Articles Featuring John Baldessari
John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Giant with a Sense of Humor, Dead at 88
Jan 6th, 2020
John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Giant with a Sense of Humor, Dead at 88
Why These 6 Artists Destroyed Their Own Art
Jan 9th, 2018
Why These 6 Artists Destroyed Their Own Art
The Woman Who Photographed Mike Kelley and John Baldessari Mid-Orgasm
Aug 8th, 2017
The Woman Who Photographed Mike Kelley and John Baldessari Mid-Orgasm
What Does It Take to Capture the Perfect Sports Moment?
Jul 7th, 2016
What Does It Take to Capture the Perfect Sports Moment?
Navigate right