John Baldessari: Pure Beauty
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hooray ~ I finally made the 15 min walk across the park to see the Baldessari exhibit. Thanks to @newyorkology for the heads up the exhibit was closing today. Got a few coat check pics- no photography in the exhibit.
Baldessari (b. 1931, National City, California) turned from an early career in painting toward photographic images that he combined with text, using the freeways, billboards, and strip malls of Southern California as his frequent sources. In his groundbreaking work of the late 1960s, he transferred snapshots of banal locales around his hometown onto photo-sensitized canvases and hired a sign painter to label them with their locations or excerpts from how-to books on photography. Throughout the whole of his career, Baldessari’s sharp insights into the conventions of art production, the nature of perception, and the relationship of language to mass-media imagery are tempered by a keen sense of humor. The exhibition brings together a full range of the artist’s innovative work over five decades, from his early paintings and phototext works, his combined photographs, and the irregularly shaped and over-painted works of the 1990s, to his most recent production. The exhibit was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern, London.
Great interview here
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Connections is an online community drawn exclusively from Met curators, conservators, educators who offer their personal perspectives on works of art in The Met’s vast collection. A new Connections is posted every Wednesday.
What’s interesting about this site is getting a glimpse into the curator’s background and having an opportunity to see pieces that you might overlook, or never see. After all the Met is a pretty big place! For example, I would never -ever- come across Thomas Seir Cummings’ A Mother’s Pearls. A necklace he made for his wife of nine ivory ovals that records his children’s faces in miniature. It’s an amazing piece from the 1840s that Carrie Rebora Barratt highlights in her “Small Things” segment.