John Baldessari

“Mr. Baldessari started as a semi abstract painter in the 1950s but grew so disenchanted with his own handiwork — as well as the very notion of handiwork — that in 1970 he decided to take his paintings to a San Diego funeral home and cremate them. He was ready to embrace a wide range of mediums: videos, photography, prints, sculpture, text-based art, installations and, yes, paintings, but most of all hybrid forms of these, like text painting. While so much early conceptual art tended toward the cold and cerebral, Mr. Baldessari’s was infused with a droll sense of humor. He employed a sort of Dada irony and sometimes colorful Pop Art splashes — blue was his favorite color — to rescue conceptual art from what he saw as its high-minded self-seriousness.”

-The New York Times

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