Baldessari, John

John Baldessari was born in 1931 in National City, California. He received a BA and MA from San Diego State University and completed postgraduate work at both Otis Art Institute and Chouinard Art Institute.

For more than five decades, Baldessari has created thousands of works that demonstrate and, in many cases, combine the narrative potential of images and the associative power of language within the boundaries of the work of art. He has continually explored these themes in painting, photography, film, video, site-specific installations, artist’s books, sculpture, drawings, prints, and multiples.

Since 1957, Baldessari’s work has been featured in more than 950 solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe. He has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, including those organized by the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, in 1981; the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia, Spain, in 1989; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1990; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK, in 1995; and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, and Kunsthaus Graz, in 2005. A major retrospective exhibition, organized by Tate Modern and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, opened at the Tate in fall 2009.

As a teacher from 1970 to 1988 at the California Institute of the Arts, and from 1996 to 2007 at the University of California, Los Angeles, Baldessari instructed and influenced generations of artists.  He lives and works in Southern California.