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John Baldessari: Brick Bldg. LG Windows w/ Xlent Views, Partially Furnished, Renowned Architect
Baldessari’s concept for his exhibition in Museum Haus Lange is as spectacular as it is radical. Photo: EFE/Bernd Thissen.
KREFELD.- John Baldessari, born in 1931 the son of European emigrants in National City, California, and now resident in Santa Monica, is one of the pioneers of American concept art and numbers among the most prominent artists of our time. Parallel to this, through his teaching activities at the California Institute of Arts (1970-1988) and UCLA (since 1996) he has produced a number of artists who meanwhile have become every bit as renowned as their one-time teacher.

On several occasions in the last few years, Baldessari has taken to installing works in specific locations in such a way that they relate to the actual space. This has included the installation Adam and Eve (With Ear and Nose) plus Serpent at the Portikus, Frankfurt, and the installation at the Bonner Kunstverein (both 2007) on the occasion of his double exhibition Music in Bonn.

Baldessari’s concept for his exhibition in Museum Haus Lange is as spectacular as it is radical; it is “contra-Mies”, as he says. Point of departure for him was the physical structure of the brick building. On the one hand he has focused on what for Mies was the source of an agonising confrontation with his client: Mies vainly attempted to increase the extent of the building’s outside glazing in order to increase the desired permeability between inside and out. However, the artist has used the former Bauhaus master’s own idea quite pointedly against him: he has completely obscured the windows with pictures of bricks. At the same time though, he has intriguingly restored the connection between inside and outside by likewise covering the interior walls with brick wallpaper - in an extension of Mies’s ideas that takes them to their logical and absurd extreme!

To top it all, the artist has placed photographs of Californian land- and seascapes on the inside of the windows: as simulacra of the Miesian view through the window, these scenes bring about a complete dislocation of the building inside while at the same time simulating a link between the Lower Rhine and the artist’s home in California. Anti-Miesian furnishings in the form of an Ear-Couch, decorated with two vases shaped like noses (Nose Scones), are complemented on the outside by a winking window eye: ironic apercus that are further crowning points of this intervention. By bringing about a total metamorphosis of the building, the exhibition takes this new slant on Mies van der Rohe to its witty and ingenious extreme, to produce a truly matchless contribution to Bauhaus year 2009!





Today's News

March 3, 2009

Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao Opens Exhibition Dedicated to Novecentismo and Avant-Garde

2009 Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award to be Shown at The Ian Potter Centre

Getty Exhibition Showcases Japanese Lacquer Masterpieces

Chinese Bidder at Christie's YSL Auction Refuses to Pay for Controversial Works of Art

John Baldessari: Brick Bldg. LG Windows w/ Xlent Views, Partially Furnished, Renowned Architect

Arts Commission Announces New Installation by Artist Patrick Dougherty

Pierre Charpin: Amidst the Vases Opens at Museum of Design and Applied Arts

Pioneering "Soul i-D" Exhibition Tours to Christie's South Kensington

Chronicles of Absence by Óscar Muñoz and Rosangela Rennó Opens at Museo Tamayo

Sotheby's To Offer a Newly Discovered Painting by Johann Zoffany in its Gianni Versace Sale

Photographer Gregory Crewdson Inaugurates Discussion Series Sponsored by the Photography Society of The Nelson-Atkins

Ad van Denderen: So Blue, So Blue - Edges of the Mediterranean on View at Fotomuseum Winterthur

Amon Carter Museum Announces Exhibition of Esteemed Private Collection of African-American Art

The George Segal Gallery and Studio Monclair Present Studio Montclair's 12th Annual Juried Exhibition

New Jersey Artist to Show at Dutch Art Spot W139

Inge Morath Award Now Accepting Submissions

The Life of a Controversial Philosopher Inspires New Media Artist David Clark

Plains Art Museum Presents 121 Popsicle Towers Made by NDSU Students

Art Alliance Austin Reveals 2009 Commissioned Artist Project Jaclyn Pryor's Pink [unplugged]

Los Angeles Center for Digital Art Presents Rex Bruce's Images of the L.A. Sky-scape

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3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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