John Baldessari, ‘Choosing (A Game for Two Players): Turnips’, Christie's

John Baldessari (b. 1931)

Choosing (A Game for Two Players): Turnips

seven elements - color coupler prints mounted on board

each: 14 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (36.2 x 24.1 cm.)

Executed in 1971-72.

Signature: Choosing (A Game for Two Players): Turnips

Milan, Galleria Toselli, John Baldessari: Choosing, Aligning, Floating, April 1972.

New York, Christine Burgin Gallery and Santa Monica, Richard Kuhlenschmidt Gallery, Los Angeles 1970-75, February-May 1991.

T. Lawson, "The Theatre of the Mind: John Baldessari," _Parkett: John Baldessari/ Cindy Sherman,_no. 29, 1991, pp. 40-41 (illustrated in color).

J. Saltz, "John Baldessari: The Curious Discovery of A+I(Ov.)=8, or the Smile of Reason," _Forum International,_no. 14, September-October 1991, p. 72 (illustrated).

R. Dean and P. Pardo, eds., John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné Volume One: 1956-1974, New Haven, 2013, p. 194, no. 1972.7 (illustrated in color).

Galerie MTL, Brussels

Private Collection, Belgium

Acquired from the above by the present owner

About John Baldessari

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."

American, b. 1931, National City, California, based in Los Angeles, California