John Baldessari: Work 1966 – 1980
March 14 – April 28 1981
The wit, intelligence, irreverence, and breadth of knowledge manifest in John Baldessari’s work have made it important to many … artists and public alike. This is the first museum exhibition, however, to show in depth the work Baldessari has done over the past fifteen years. When The New Museum learned that an exhibition of Baldessari’s photographic works was being planned at the University Art Galleries at Wright State University, the two organizations decided to join forces. -John Baldessari catalogue.
Baldessari’s work is often at once misunderstood and enormously well-liked; in the first case because beneath the seeming simplicity of his use of images, words and gestures lurks a Pandora’s box of difficult and provocative ideas, indicating the artist’s extensive reading and immersion in the philosophical currents of his time, and in the latter case because the work embraces the most obvious and presents it to us in a new context reflecting a wonderfully outrageous, yet subtle, sense of humor. His work over the past decade and a half can best be understood in terms of over lapping areas of concern: the artist as a strategist; the artist as storyteller; the artist as teacher; and the artist as artist. …Baldessari’s work addresses, on many complex levels, issues about art, language, information, games, and the world at large. His pervasive curiosity, pursuit of the unpredictable, mistrust of the easy solution, and willingness to use anything and everything in an attempt to go beyond what is already known to him., make for a body of work that speaks in a way which is immediate and fresh. His work makes on particularly aware of the ever-changing interplay between daily life and the world of art. -From The New Museum Press Release