Meyerovich Gallery spring exhibition features leading conceptual artist John Baldessari thru May 3, 2014. “John Baldessari: Crowds with Shape of Reason Missing” includes 6 classic cinematographic images reinvented to explore the idea of removing the predominant subject of an image and replacing it with a nondescript white form.
Baldessari’s chosen vintage movie stills seem at once recognizable and yet unfamiliar. These classic cinematographic images that once informed a clear storyline now raise more questions than they answer. The work depicts individuals gathered together in formation or spontaneously while captivated by the unknown. Soldiers, onlookers, harem girls and a wide assortment of people become participants in an event that was undoubtedly defined before the artist altered the image. The lack of closure in these reinvented images creates a tension that entices the viewer to project ideas and possibilities of what the amorphous white shapes may embody. Also, a selection of recent works on paper by Baldessari will also be on display.
As one of the country’s most influential living artists John Baldessari’s artworks have been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions and in over 1000 group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. He is one of the founders and innovators of conceptual art. To look at one of Baldessari’s works is to relearn how to read in a nonverbal, nonlinear way. His impact on generations of younger artists is profound and of particular importance is his role at the California Institute of the Arts and at UCLA, where he has helped to establish the West Coast as a leading site of innovation in the arts.
John Baldessari’s awards and honors include memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the BACA International 2008, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by La Biennale di Venezia and the City of Goslar Kaiserring in 2012. He has received honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland, San Diego State University, Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, and California College of the Arts.
Recent projects include exhibitions in New York, Europe, and Los Angeles; an exhibition at the Mönchehaus Museum Goslar (Goslar, Germany) in 2012; the traveling retrospective "John Baldessari: Pure Beauty"; an exhibition with the Fondazione Prada in Milan, Italy; installations at the Museum Haus Lange (Krefeld, Germany), the Temporary Stedelijk 2 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and the Manchester International Festival (Manchester, United Kingdom); John Baldessari: A Catalogue Raisonné of Prints and Multiples 1971-2007 was published in 2009 by Hudson Hills Press and John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné, Volume One: 1956-1974 was published by Yale University Press in 2012. Upcoming projects include exhibitions at Mai 36 Galerie (Zürich, Switzerland), Sprüth Magers (Berlin, Germany) and Schrim Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany).
John Baldessari was born in National City, California in 1931. He attended San Diego State University and did post-graduate work at Otis Art Institute, Chouinard Art Institute and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA from 1970 - 1988 and the University of California at Los Angeles from 1996 - 2007. Lives in Santa Monica, California, works in Venice, California.
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