A Brief History of John Baldessari










Baldessari has been in over 200 solo shows and 1,000 group shows in his six-decade career.[32] He had his first gallery solo exhibition at the Molly Barnes Gallery in Los Angeles in 1968.[7] His first retrospective exhibition in the U.S. in 1981 was mounted by the New Museum of Modern Art in New York,[10] and traveled to the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, the CAM, Houston, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and the Museum Folkwang, Essen. Baldessari’s work has since been exhibited in the 47th Venice Biennial (1997); the Carnegie International (1985–86), the Whitney Biennial (1983), and Documenta V (1972) and VII (1982). In 1994, the Museum of Modern Art presented „Artist’s Choice: John Baldessari“, and in 1990-92 another retrospective survey of his work was shown at MOCA, Los Angeles, which traveled to SFMOMA, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Whitney Museum, and the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal. In 1995-96 a retrospective, „This Not That“, was shown at Cornerhouse, Manchester, and traveled to London, Stuttgart, Ljubljana, Oslo, and Lisbon. In 2009 a major retrospective exhibition Pure Beauty opened at the Tate Modern, London, which travelled to MACBA, Barcelona; LACMA, Los Angeles; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through 2011. Solo presentations of his work at museums have included exhibitions at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, the Kunsthaus Graz, and Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin (2004); Museo d’Arte Moderna Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Trento (2000–2001); Sprengel Museum, Hannover, (1999–2000); and Albertina, Vienna (1999). Baldessari was invited to curate the exhibition „Ways of Seeing: John Baldessari Explores the Collection“ at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2006, and he created the exhibition design for „Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images“ at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.



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