John Baldessari’s “Hot & Cold” at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

John Baldessari’s “Hot & Cold” at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Marian Goodman Gallery in New York is hosting an exhibition that features a new body of work by American conceptual artist John Baldessari. Titled “Hot & Cold,” the works departs from the art historical precept and explores an entirely new subject matter. The show is on view through June 15, 2019.

According to the gallery, “Baldessari focuses our attention on the physical world in this new body of work, featuring icons and events of natural phenomena which give new expression to the artist’s hybrid forms, exploring motif and ground and the relationship of painting to photography, image and language.”

Baldessari’s fascination surrounding the activity and geometry of land masses results in a play with surface forms that provokes a sense of the sublime and the cataclysmic. According to the gallery, the works on view are presented as diptychs, and unites “polarities of surface and depth, chaos and containment, through counterpoints of subject, form and color, highlighting the dialectics of figure and ground, and positive and negative space.” This new bifurcated form allows images to contest one another, resulting in uneasy tension in their collision.

Moreover, through the symbolic inversions and transposition of fragments from landscape and photography as well as his application of found texts, taken from an encyclopedic collection of aphorisms and phrases, Baldessari creates a third reading in “Hot & Cold.”

Born in 1931 in California, Baldessari is best known for his work featuring found photography and appropriated images. His work “Pure Beauty,” was the subject of a major retrospective, which retraced his career from 1962 to 2010. The artist has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the 2015 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Medal Award, the 2012 Kaiserring Award by the city of Goslar, Germany, and the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009. He currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California.


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