Metropolitan Museum of Art Honors Artist John Baldessari with Retrospective Exhibition
John Baldessari: Pure Beauty
October 20, 2010 | January 9, 2011
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, 2nd floor
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028
Information: 212-535-7710

Tate Channel: John Baldessari: Pure Beauty
Exhibition Introduction and Brain/Cloud (2009)
Download Audio Guide

Baldessari (b. 1931, National City, California) turned from an early career in painting toward photographic images that he combined with text, using the freeways, billboards, and strip malls of Southern California as his frequent sources. In his groundbreaking work of the late 1960s, he transferred snapshots of banal locales around his hometown onto photo-sensitized canvases and hired a sign painter to label them with their locations or excerpts from how-to books on photography. Throughout the whole of his career, Baldessari’s sharp insights into the conventions of art production, the nature of perception, and the relationship of language to mass-media imagery are tempered by a keen sense of humor. The exhibition brings together a full range of the artist’s innovative work over five decades, from his early paintings and phototext works, his combined photographs, and the irregularly shaped and over-painted works of the 1990s, to his most recent production. A selection of his videos and artist’s books will also be included in the exhibition.
Video produced by Tate Media. See the Tate Channel for more Tate Media content.
The exhibition is made possible in part by The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation.
Additional support is provided by Glenstone.
The exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern, London.
It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
His works have been shown in more than 200 solo exhibitions and over 900 group shows in the United States and Europe. His projects include artist’s books, videos, films, billboards, and public works. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rolex Mentor Prize and the Protege’ Arts Initiative, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts for the State of California, the Kokoschka Prize, the “Spectrum” Internationaler Preis für Fotografie, the BACA International 2008, and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by La Biennale di Venezia in 2009. He has received honorary degrees from the Irish National University, from San Diego State University, and the Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design.