A major figure in contemporary art, John Baldessari is widely considered one of the most influential artists to emerge since the mid-1960s. From his early text-and-image paintings to his more recent photo collages and installations, Baldessari has continued to make art that addresses the social impact of mass culture, often playfully through strategies of appropriation and deconstruction. Baldessari’s lifelong interest in language, written and visual, and the interaction between the two, raises questions about the nature of communication and perception. More than 400 illustrations are presented in full color in this monograph published in conjunction with a major exhibition organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Tate Modern in London. Eleven essays by critics, curators, art historians, and an artist and former student of Baldessari’s round out this volume. Few contemporary artists have achieved the range and relevance of Baldessari’s oeuvre, which is finally given its due in this elegant retrospective book.
Jessica Morgan is Curator of Contemporary Art, Tate Modern, London.