“I’m always interested in the things that we don’t call art…”
A quintessence of minimalism and the city we design from...creative inspiration from artist John Baldessari’s work after his passing.
Drawn to his own life cycle, Baldessari made a formal funeral pyre of his work with The Cremation in 1970, destroying everything he had made up to that point. The act of burning all previous works to create a single piece conveyed endings as transmutative, an enthusiasm for error, and beauty in simplification.
An artist whose body of work was concerned with trials, systems, movements, Baldessari beautified and analyzed process–universal across mediums–the mixing of which he encouraged with collagist character, in both visual practice and open mindedness; “he was never afraid of the uncomfortable relationship between fashion and art” (Kazanjian). The incongruent being where meaning takes shape, “words are just a way we communicate. Images are a way we communicate. And I couldn’t figure out why they had to be in different baskets.”
Visual witticisms, prone to paradox like something “deeply playful,” arrive as telepathic winks; an artist who spoke of communication itself–the intimate bridge between things rather than their starts and ends. And in that psychically transitory space–a bright trance quietude.
1. Pure Beauty 1986
2. The Cremation Project (1970)
3. Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts) (1973)
4. Tetrad Series: Precise Form (1999)
5. Pollock/Benton: Balanced (2016)
6. What This Painting Aims To Do (1967)
7. Tetrad Series: Unnoticed Among Larger Things (1999)