John Baldessari. Pure Beauty
John Baldessari, Jessica Morgan, Leslie Jones
Prestel, München/New York, 2009
Based in Los Angeles since the 1960s, John Baldessari (b. 1931) is one of the most influential artists of his generation. Making his name as a pioneer of conceptual art in the 1960s with his text and image paintings, he shocked the art world when he announced in a newspaper that he was cremating all the artworks he had produced between 1953 and 1966. Having relinquished the canvas he turned his attention to film, trawling dumpsters and second-hand stores for discarded film stills from which he created photocompositions that proved pivotal to the development of appropriation art. Baldessari’s lifelong interest in language, both written and visual, has been at the forefront of both his artwork and his teaching, through which, over more than thirty years, he has nurtured and influenced succeeding generations of artists.
Illustrating more than 150 works in full colour, with an extensive selection of essays by leading international critics, curators and art historians, this is the most thorough exploration yet published of the career of one of the world’s most important living artists.