Tuesday, 10 November 2009

John Baldessari : Pure Beauty...

....Tate Modern, until Jan 2010.

God Nose, 1965, Oil on Canvas

I love being introduced to an artist that I don't know anything about and emerging at the other end with a new favourite, (and the exhibition catalogue tucked under my arm). This happened with Baldessari. His early work is what I enjoyed most, where he explores his lifelong interest in the relationship between language & imagery, proving funny & intriguing.

His work then progresses in to photo imagery, but retains wit & humour - classically in the piece, 'The Artist hitting various objects with a golf club'. It is exactly as the title suggests and is apparent that this, and many other works on display, have influenced many artists since.

Stonehenge (With Two Persons) Orange, 2005

I am not as keen on his more recent work, where he has reintroduced paint over photographs, but the brilliance, productivity & influence of his work in the 70s and 80s, is what makes this exhibition so good.

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