John Baldessari | Pura belleza

“No haré más arte aburrido” escribía una y otra vez en un cuaderno escolar John Baldessari (National City, California, 1931) en un vídeo de 1971. Esa misma aversión al aburrimiento es la que ha impulsado al artista, a lo largo de toda su carrera, a evitar cualquier resquicio de monotonía, recurriendo por ello a un ecléctico repertorio de medios y formatos para articular sus incisivas reflexiones en torno a los límites de la creación artística.

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John Baldessari. Pura belleza es la retrospectiva más completa que se ha dedicado hasta la fecha al artista californiano. Contó con 130 obras realizadas entre 1962 y 2009, que incluían sus primeras pinturas de reminiscencias pop, una instalación multimedia específicamente creada para la exposición, los restos de su célebre acto crematorio (Cremation Project, 1970), cuadros de texto, fotocomposiciones, vídeos, esculturas y libros de artista.

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La historia ha catalogado a Baldessari como uno de los más destacados representantes del arte conceptual, pero no es un artista fácil de etiquetar. El suyo es un conceptualismo descreído que reivindica el poder trasgresor de la forma. Su ironía sutil pero siempre afilada cuestiona conceptos como el de autoría y altera nuestra manera pasiva de enfrentarnos al arte, a sus textos y a sus imágenes.

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ENG: John Baldessari is renowned as a leading Californian Conceptual artist. Painting was important to his early work: when he emerged, in the early 1960s, he was working in a gestural style. But by the end of the decade he had begun to introduce text and pre-existing images, often doing so to create riddles that highlighted some of the unspoken assumptions of contemporary painting – as he once said, “I think when I’m doing art, I’m questioning how to do it.” And in the 1970s he abandoned painting altogether and made in a diverse range of media, though his interests generally centered on the photographic image.

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Conceptual art has shaped his interest in exploring how photographic images communicate, yet his work has little of the austerity usually associated with that style; instead he works with light humor, and with materials and motifs that also reflect the influence of Pop art.
Baldessari has also been a famously influential teacher. His ideas, and his relaxed and innovative approach to teaching, have made an important impact on many, most notably the so-called Pictures Generation, whose blend of Pop and Conceptual art was prominent in the 1980s.´

www.baldessari.org

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