MEXICO CITY.- Museo Jumex
presents the exhibition Learning to Read with John Baldessari, the first major survey of the artists work in Latin America, on view through April 8, 2018. One of the most influential artists of the past five decades, Baldessari has continually investigated how image and language collide and collude, and how art itself is made and understood. Using devices such as visual puns, word games, quotations and instructions, the artist employs a wry humor that, beneath the surface, touches on deeper truths regarding how we communicate through culture, and how art might reinvent itself.
Learning to Read with John Baldessari features more than 80 works including early instruction paintings and his iconic photo-collages, as well as videos, sculptures, text-based works and editions from a career spanning more than half a century. The survey draws on the artists practice of addressing pedagogic themes of instruction, the class, and judgment that appear in his work from the 1960s to the present. The dichotomy between learning and unlearning in Baldessaris own playful and idiosyncratic method is revealed through this survey of his work, hung from A-Z a subverted didactic that displays the tension between text and image. Each section of the exhibition looks at interpretation from a different perspective, alluding to the lessons the artists work conveys, and the impossible task of reading John Baldessari.
The exhibition is organized by Kit Hammonds, Curator, and Gabriel Villalobos, Curatorial Assistant at Museo Jumex. Works are drawn from more than 30 collections in Europe and the Americas including the Broad, LACMA, MCASD, Ringier, Van Abbemuseum, Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as works from Colección Jumex and Baldessaris studio, among others.
John Baldessari was born in 1931 in National City, California and has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1970. His work has been exhibited widely in Europe and the US, including seminal exhibitions such as Information at the Museum of Modern Art (New York, 1970); and Software: Information Technology: Its New Meaning for Art at the Jewish Museum (New York, 1970) and at Documenta V (Germany, 1972). His work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions, including Pure Beauty (2009), a major retrospective presented at the Tate, London (2009); The Metropolitan Museum, New York (2010); the Los Angeles County Museum (2010); and MACBA, Barcelona (2010).
Baldessari has had a significant impact both as a contemporary artist and as an educator. He founded the Post-Studio art program at CalArts in 1970, seeking to make his teaching as much like art as possible. He led the Post-Studio program from 1970 to 1988, and was a faculty member in Studio Art at UCLA from 1996 to 2007. He is widely considered to have been instrumental in the rise of the Los Angeles art scene and the Pictures Generation of the 1980s. Among his students were Mike Kelly, Tony Oursler, Meg Cranston, Jack Goldstein and Matt Mullican. He has also influenced the next generation of artists including Mungo Thomson, Liz Craft and Analia Saban.
He received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2009.