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Known for his use of appropriation and alteration to disrupt any given narrative, John Baldessari differs from other conceptual artists. His humor and commitment to the visual image creates entirely new meaning out of already existing compositions. He dramatizes the ordinary, although beneath the apparent simplicity of his words and images lay multiple connotations.
Published by CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art, San Francisco
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It is hard to characterize John Baldessari's (American, b. 1931) 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.