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John Baldessari

American, 1931-2020

Although conceptual artist John Baldessari is best known for the richly provocative juxtapositions of photographic images and text that characterize his prints and paintings, he actually had something of a traditional art world upbringing — if such a thing exists.

Born in Southern California, Baldessari earned several art degrees, from art education to art history to painting. He also taught art at various institutions such as the California Institute of the Arts throughout his life. Among his many students were David Salle, Tony Oursler, Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley. While helping to shape the art world in Los Angeles, he simultaneously developed his own name as an artist.

In the 1950s, Baldessari’s works were primarily semiabstract paintings, but during the late 1960s, he began to distance himself from painting, as he bristled at the idea of limiting art to a single medium. Baldessari decided to take his career in a dramatically different direction. He burned all his paintings at a funeral home in San Diego, then incorporated the ashes into cookie dough, producing (nonedible) baked goods for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

“It was a very public and symbolic act,” he said, “like announcing you’re going on a diet in order to stick to it.”

From that point on, Baldessari took on an MO of experimentation, dabbling in mediums from video to printmaking to sculpture. “I just stare at something and say: Why isn’t that art? Why couldn’t that be art?” he said in an interview in 2008.

The works for which Baldessari is most highly regarded, however, are striking collages of images and text — many of which are seemingly nonsensical — such as Tom’s Hand Grips the Steering, Wheel… (2015), in which the title’s text is displayed beneath a hippopotamus. As such is his body of work: bringing a sense of joviality to the sometimes too-serious world of conceptual art.

Before he died in 2020, Baldessari was honored with the 2014 National Medal of Arts Award, the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and more.

Find original John Baldessari art on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$2,920
Styles
Materials
Visionaire 64 Art Portfolio (Red)
By John Baldessari
Located in New York, NY
The case converts into a horizontal or vertical display using the built-in foldout stand. The Red edition features James Franco, Miley Cyrus, Marina Abramovic, Ranveer Singh, Yuna Ki...
Category

2010s John Baldessari

Materials

Lithograph, Screen

John Baldessari, Two People Watch, One Person Fall
By John Baldessari
Located in Agoura Hills, CA
Although conceptual artist John Baldessari is best known for the richly provocative juxtapositions of photographic images and text that characterize his prints and paintings, he actu...
Category

2010s Contemporary John Baldessari

Materials

Color

Two Figures (One with Shadow), from Hegel's Cellar Portfolio
By John Baldessari
Located in Miami, FL
TECHNICAL INFORMATION: John Baldessari Two Figures (One with Shadow), from Hegel's Cellar Portfolio 1986 Photogravure and sugar-lift acquatint on torn Rives BFK deckle, printed almo...
Category

1980s Conceptual John Baldessari

Materials

Photogravure

John Baldessari 'Panel #2' with Parrot, Signed, Limited Edition Print
By John Baldessari
Located in San Rafael, CA
John Baldessari (1931–2020) Panel #2 , 1997 From series Two Horses with Riders (with Blue Parrot) Lithograph in colors on Rives BFK paper Signed, dated and numbered to lower edge ‘8/...
Category

1990s Contemporary John Baldessari

Materials

Lithograph

John Baldessari-Margo Leavin Gallery-38.5" x 26.25"-Poster-1990-Pop Art-Gray
By John Baldessari
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Poster for the John Baldessari exhibition which was held at the Margo Leavin Gallery from April - May 1990.
Category

20th Century John Baldessari

Materials

Offset

Man, Dog (Blue), Canoe/Shark Fins (One Yellow), Capsized Boat
By John Baldessari
Located in New York, NY
It is hard to characterize John Baldessari’s varied practice—which includes photomontage, artist’s books, prints, paintings, film, performance, and installation—except through his ap...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Conceptual John Baldessari

Materials

Etching

Fate: Blue [Woman with Man Gazing at Sphere] -- Offset Lithograph by Baldessari
By John Baldessari
Located in London, GB
JOHN BALDESSARI Fate: Blue [Woman with Man Gazing at Sphere], 1995 Offset lithograph in colours, on card stock Signed, dated and numbered from the edition of 100 Printed by SoHo Serv...
Category

1990s Contemporary John Baldessari

Materials

Lithograph, Offset

Person with Guitar (Green)
By John Baldessari
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint in colors on wove paper cut and mounted to Sintra In original artist’s frame Signed and dated in white ink on recto Ed of 45
Category

Early 2000s Contemporary John Baldessari

Materials

Screen

Browse all Art from John Baldessari
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Galleries Featuring John Baldessari

HK Art Advisory
No Reviews Yet
Diane Villani Editions
5.0
Yancey Richardson Gallery
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GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART
5.0
Puccio Fine Art
No Reviews Yet
The Nevica Project LLC
5.0

John Baldessari art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic John Baldessari art for sale. If you are looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, orange, purple and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by John Baldessari in etching, screen print, lithograph, and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large John Baldessari art, so small editions measuring 8.510000228881836 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Ross Bleckner, Red Grooms and Romare Bearden. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $350 and tops out at $30,000, while the average work can sell for $5,746.

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