The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 17, 2019

John Baldessari - Life's Balance at Kunsthaus Graz
John Baldessari, Emma and Freud, 1984.

GRAZ, AUSTRIA.- Kunsthaus Graz at Landesmuseum Joanneum presents John Baldessari - Life's Balance, Works84-04, through May 16, 2005. “Why is something art, and why is something else not art?“ This is how John Baldessari (born in 1931), one of the most important contemporary American artists, has described his concept. His oeuvre, which combines photography with painting and art-historical reference with everyday life, is a study of the impossibility of grasping total truth or obtaining complete knowledge.

In his early video works and collages John Baldessari, as many conceptual artists in the mid-1960ies, focused on deconstructing the modernist notion of autonomous art, quickly developing his own unique stylistics characterized by the use of overlapping layers of texts and photographic images reproduced on plain white canvases. One of the missions set up behind the early works was to strengthen the medium’s independent and emancipatory aspects. This very soon evolved into an attempt to confront and jam the media world with, what the artist calls, the “real world”. In the mid-1970ies he began to apply such techniques as cropping and montage to juxtapose appropriated press photographs and movie stills from nostalgic Hollywood B-movies of the 1940ies and 50ies in order to analyse an inherent ambiguity of meaning as well as to discover “memories of the soul”.

His entire oeuvre seems to be marked by a continuous attempt to map a territory of the in-between: on the formal level it is a hybrid of photography and painting, on the narrative one, it is a sophisticated and humorous investigation into an almost baroque edifice of art-historical reference linked with the conventions of everyday life and found footage from all available sources of the collective consciousness.

The exhibition of John Baldessari concentrates on the last two decades of the artist’s oeuvre, from 1984 until the present moment. Within this period Baldessari’s stylistic approach has achieved its uppermost mastery and perfection. Structurally, the exhibition consists of three parts:

The body of impressively complex singular works from the period between 1984 and 1996 shows the apogee of a narrative tendency; the manipulation of images causes a visual vertigo. Works that belong to various series developed in the years 1996 to 2003 sum up the most recognizable aspects of Baldessari’s style, such as overlapping layers of photographic material and painterly surface as well as compositional experiments with framing and the recurring usage of language confronted with pictorial narratives. In the very recent photo-based compositions from 2004, as the stylistically balanced Orange series, the focus on colour becomes very evident.

The exhibition also includes a video installation, Five ’68 Films (2002), which further develops the artist’s preoccupation with a specific act of “surgery” done on the surface of a cinematic image, and a special edition of The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy by Laurence Sterne with illustrations by John Baldessari, including 39 photo collages (1998).

Today's News

March 8, 2005

Drer. Masterpieces from the Albertina Opens in Madrid

Three Works by Edvard Munch Recovered

Diane Arbus Celebrated at Metropolitan Museum

Pinakothek Der Moderne Presents Passion for Art

John Baldessari - Life's Balance at Kunsthaus Graz

Maria Altman Mediates Works With Austrian Government

Contemporary Ceramics Installation by Richard Cleaver

Kiarostami forest at the V&A

Guillermo Kuitca at Hauser & Wirth London

Five Buildings Proposed For Listing

White Space Presents Bloc

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lvy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful