Artist Profile

John Baldessari

b. 1931

John Baldessari was born on June 17, 1931 in National City, California. Raised in Southern California, he moved on to earn his B.A. degree and later his M.A. degree at San Diego State College, California. In 1959, Baldessari began teaching art courses in the San Diego school district and continued to do so throughout the next three decades, eventually moving his way up to the university level. He was a founding faculty member of CalArts, where he taught from taught from 1970 to 1986.

Initially, Baldessari’s personal works began with painting but by the mid-1960s he started to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases. By 1970, Baldessari was experimenting with film, video, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and installation. Moving toward a conceptual approach to art, he played with the narrative potential of imagery and the associative power of language carried though works of art.

Baldessari lived and worked in Santa Monica and Venice, California, and was featured in over 350 solo exhibitions and 1,500 group exhibitions.



Works in Our Collection

John Baldessari
The promontory of Noses
Lithograph, 1988
24 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches
Gift of Peter Alexander

John Baldessari
I will not make any more boring art
Lithograph, ed. 25/50, 1971
sheet 22 1/2 x 30 inches; image 22 3/8 x 29 9/16
From the Stuart and Judy Spence Collection, donated April 1999 by Judy and Stuart Spence

John Baldessari
Sketch Fragment
Acrylic on canvas, 1966
18-1/2 x 18-1/2 inches
Gift of Ruth and Murray Gribin