Wednesday, June 23, 2010

John Baldessari at LACMA Los Angeles

Welcome to conceptual artist John Baldessari's retrospective complete with gift shop at LACMA. The entire second floor of BCAM is now Baldessari-land with 150 works created from 1962 to the present (and a site-specific 60' nose and 60' ear hanging from the building's exterior).    John Baldessari: Pure Beauty runs through September 12th. Inaugurated at the Tate Modern in London, the show will move to the MET in NYC after its Los Angeles dates.

Based in Santa Monica and a well-loved fixture of the LA art scene, Baldessari's relationship with the museum has been fruitful, advised LACMA's CEO Michael Govan today. The artist helped design LACMA's logo and also art directed the stunning Rene Magritte exhibition that memorably included Magritte's signature blue sky above.

I've always thought there was much sly humor in his text and photo pieces; his answers to journalists' questions today were peppered with wry observations and funny comments. A self-professed film addict, Baldessari is a fan of film noir and often uses found film stills in his work. He finds that movie imagery (the dying cowboy, for instance), captures stereotypes and cliches that are embedded in a viewer's mind. He seeks to manipulate and tweak them to mean something else.

"I don't think art should be elitist," he advised. To that end, there's a Baldessari iPhone application coming out Friday and a commissioned mixed-media series, entitled "W/Studio 54," on display at Wolfgang Puck's CUT restaurant at the Beverly Wilshire, Four Seasons too.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

1 comment:

david john said...

can't wait to experience this show....