Tag Archives: John Baldessari

Color and Conceptualism MOMA lecture 03.13.08


Speakers: John Baldessari, Daniel Buren and Bernard Marcadé
Topic: Color and Conceptualism
Sponsor: MOMA
A conversation to explore the ways in which artists use color, whether by chance, through systems, or in the context of everyday life. With artists John Baldessari and Daniel Buren, andBernard Marcadé, art critic, freelance curator, and professor of art history and aesthetics at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts of Paris-Cergy. Moderated by Ann Temkin, curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture. In conjunction with the exhibit Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today

Rating: This event posed more questions then it provided answers. Good thing, but it fell short of defining color and conceptualism within art. It allowed these two great artists to present their work and discuss how they use color but it did not address or expand on the evening’s topic.

“In the past if you were using black, white and grey you were considered a serious painter but in using color you were considered a decorative painter.” -JB

“We had to escape our own good taste” -JB

“If you make up rules before you paint then that is conceptual- If you make up rules after you paint then that is aesthetic” -JB

“You can not describe color. The words fail and are meaningless. Color is pure thought. No words or description can replace color. There are very few things this world like that.” -DB

“I have a tendency towards color so I find an artificial way to choose and associate colors. For example using the color wheel will dictate a sequence of colors within a piece.” -DB

I’m curious how the idea of color conceptualism relates to my process as a web designer. In web design there is a practice of “grey boxing” when you create a layout that is absent of color – just black white and grey. The thought is that you do not want, as a designer or a client, to be persuaded by color. The main objective is to communicate the content/message/brand in
the most efficient and effective way and you want to avoid color “getting in
the way”. This process seems more akin to a reductive/minimalist movement then a conceptual approach to color within design. So should web designers think of color in a conceptual way or does our medium prohibit this kind of exploration?
I can only think of shaun inman approaching color within web design in a conceptual manner.

Any others?

nice contemporary work relating to color:
finch and yuskavage

rolex arts weekend symposium

What: Rolex Arts Weekend symposium

Panelists: John Baldessari, William Forsythe, Joseph Melillo, Lynn Redgrave, Anthony Minghella, Anna Deavere Smith and Amitav Ghosh.

One focus of the program was the idea of inspiration. Specifically how artists identify and utilize inspiration. Lynn Redgrave gave the analogy that artists are like magpies, birds that are always collecting shiny objects (tinfoil and diamonds alike)- Artists collect items that become points of inspiration for future projects. I often find myself drawing inspiration from the oddest sources. a glance on the subway or a strange item i have picked up and can’t seem to release.

Water poems:
Minghella discussed a trip to Shanghai where he observed elderly poets writing poems on the pavement. The writings sparked discussions from observers and passersbys. The poems, written in water, quickly evaporated before everyone’s eyes. What an event! He noted the sharp contrast to our culture of archiving. At times it seems that everything we do is archived and recorded- umm blogs? Sometimes it seems to me that people are more interested in documenting moments instead of living the moments. If anyone has been to a show recently – You know what I’m talking about – cell phone cameras and dvrs. What’s gotten into us?

Mentor Protege Relationship:
The program also explored the relationship of mentor and protege. Two mentors that participated in the year long project were John Baldessari and William Forsythe. Both were very open and relaxed artists- what an honor it would be to study with them. =====

Well I’m off to bed – with sweet dreams of magpies.