The world lost artist John Baldessari last week at his home in Venice, Los Angeles. Passing away at the age of 88, he left us with some of the most inventive, ironic and unusual art in multiple mediums, forever cementing his place in Art History as The Godfather of Conceptual Art.
Remembering Artist John Baldessari
His immense range of work references just about every art movement from Dadaism to Pop. Illustration, collage, photography, painting, text… all infused with irony, wit, provocation and yes, talent.
An artist whose credo was “Stamp out boring art.”, he received numerous honors over the course of his career, including the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and the National Medal of Arts.
The California born Baldessari earned an MFA in 1957 at the current-day San Diego State University and began teaching high school, only to go on and hold prestigious posts as an educator at CalArts, UCLA and UC San Diego, instructing students such as artists Mike Kelley, David Salle, Barbara Bloom, and Matt Mullican.
Many wonderful posthumous tributes to the artist have been published in major newspapers and art magazines, such as Wallpaper Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, the New York Times (who also shared this slide show of his work), and Artnet, to name a few.
This wonderful 6 minute film (shown below), A Brief History of John Baldessari, created in 1994 by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman and narrated by Tom Waits that entertainingly encapsulates the essence of the late artist and his work.