One of the most influential conceptual artists of his generation, John Baldessari (1931-2020) pushed the limits and shifted expectations of what art could be. Born in National City, California, he studied at the San Diego State University Otis Art Institute, the Chouinard Art Institute and the University of California at Berkeley.
Baldessari’s works juxtaposed different mediums – he combined text and images, photographs with brightly painted sections, re-contextualizing the artist methods in order to create new meaning. “I’ve often thought of myself as a frustrated writer. I consider a word and an image of equal weight, and a lot of my work comes out of that kind of thinking.” Baldessari’s interest in language was rooted in a fascination with games, another concept that is governed by a set of arbitrary but mandatory system of rules. Thematically, his work often parallels pedagogical methods – guiding the viewer on what to see, experimentation, and rule-based systems – while simultaneously reflecting his own philosophies on art and its relationship to the viewer.
Baldessari has been featured in over 200 solo exhibitions. Major retrospectives have been held at the Whitney Museum (New York), the Tate Modern (London), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He lives in Santa Monica and works in Venice, California.
The fifth edition of RxArt’s coloring book, Between the Lines: A Coloring Book by Contemporary Artists, Volume 5, features a cover and stickers by the artist.