John Baldessari: Catalogue Raisonné Volume Three 1987-1993
Patrick Pardo, Robert Dean
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2016
This volume, the third of the John Baldessari (b. 1931) catalogue raisonné project, compiles 400-plus unique works of art made by the influential conceptual artist from 1987 through 1993. Here we see the artist’s large-scale photo-based works, many of which employed his signature colored discs painted over the faces of people in the photos, accompanied by entries that trace the shifts and developments in Baldessari’s work as his collaged photo narratives achieved maturity and mastery. A critical essay by Briony Fer provides a close reading of selected works, giving historical context for Baldessari’s art from this period. In addition to a detailed chronology, complete exhibition history, and bibliography, this volume notably features a previously unpublished conversation between Baldessari and the artist Ed Ruscha, which was undertaken specifically for this publication. In the conversation, the artists discuss their early careers in Southern California and the shared thematic concerns in their work.
The artworks in this volume demonstrate Baldessari’s ability to express—and, in many cases, combine—the narrative potential of images and the associative power of language within the boundaries of a single piece.