John Baldessari, Wolf (with Teeth Bared), 2009, Three dimensional archival print laminated with lexan and mounted on Sintra, with acrylic paint, 84 x 41 inches
"Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads", is John Baldessari´s second solo exhibition at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art.
Baldessari is considered one of the artists to have revolutionized the artistic language by being a precursor in the use of photography as a mainstream medium, instead of just being shown in specialized galleries. He is also known for his exploration of language as an artistic tool and for the symbioses between painting and photography that he has explored for the past five decades. Constantly capable to reinventing himself - working on a vast array of media - Baldessari formed, together with Bruce Nauman and Ed Ruscha, the Los Angeles conceptual art movement. His notoriety will be recognized again this year with the presentation of the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by the Venice Biennale. His oeuvre, in the words of Daniel Birnbaum, curator of the exhibition that will open in June, "has opened new poetic, conceptual and social possibilities for artists around the globe and will remain a source of inspiration for generations to come".
The current exhibition continues a group of works that the artist has developed around the idea of the body as a fragment, which has come together in series such as: Noses & Ears, Etc., (2006-07) and Arms & Legs (Specif. Elbows & Knees), Etc., (2007-). His fascination with the body, which questions the emphasis either on the totality or on the detail, is well visible in the present series and reconsiders questions that were clearly stated in works the artist has done in the 60's.
In "Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads", there is an evident presence of the ironic characteristic of his interventions (close to slapstick comedy) where a game of facial expressions suggest emotions and states of mind, which offer the viewer a reflection on the specificity of the present times.
The manipulation of the fragmented body transforms anatomies into abstractions. The relationship with the surrounding space, as well as a game of colours assume a key role, where an affinity with Pop Art is still present through the contrasting exercise of colours.
The use of photography (film stills that the artist has collected), melts with three dimensional painting through the relief of the support which emphasizes once again the question of obsolete notions of discipline and genre.
Current projects include a one-man exhibition at Haus Lange, Krefeld, until June 2009. In October 2009 a retrospective exhibition will open at the Tate Modern, London, which will travel to MACBA, Barcelona; LACMA, Los Angeles; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through 2011. A multi-volume Catalogue Raisonne of the artist's work is currently being prepared. The first volume, covering works from 1953-1978, is scheduled for release in Spring 2011.
Solo presentations of his work over the past five years have included exhibitions at: Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2007); Portikus, Frankfurt (2007); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2006); Carré d'Art Musée Contemporain de Nimes, France (2005-2006); and Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin (2004).
Baldessari has received many honors, including the 2008 Biennial Award for Contemporary Art, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands; American Academy of Arts & Letters, 2008; Archives of American Art Medal, Washington, D.C., 2007; the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative, 2006-2007; the Lifetime Achievement Award, Americans for the Arts, New York, 2005; and American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2004. He has received honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland, San Diego State University, and Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
JOHN BALDESSARI - "Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads" Press Release as pdf-File
Arm (with Shadow), 2009
Impressão fotográfica digital de arquivo, tri-dimensional, laminada com
plástico Lexan, aplicada em PVC Sintra, tinta acrílica