John Baldessari

Learning To Read with John Baldessari

As ludic and non-authoritarian as John Baldessari’s art, this new monograph on the ‘Father of Conceptual Art’ is dedicated to his practice as an artist and a teacher, and the many ways in which both practices intertwine in his life.

Having been trained as an arts educator, John Baldessari is today renowned for his work as much as for his innovative post studio class at CalArts, Los Angeles, where he has formed many generations of artists and participated in shaping the West Coast art scene.

Visually organized in alphabetical order, Learning to Read from John Baldessari is a comprehensive essay on the artist’s approaches to art making and teaching, a biography of the artist as a teacher, artworks reproduced thematically, and many stories and anecdotes told by former students such as Liz Craft, Ed Henderson, Matt Mullican, Tony Oursler, David Salle, about their years at CalArts, and the uniqueness and serious playfulness of their formation.

Emphasizing Baldessari’s works in which language, task making, and learning processes are tackled, this publication highlights what the artist describes as the central function of art making: to communicate in a way that people can understand.

Published with Museo Jumex, Mexico City.

Published on the occasion of the major retrospective exhibition, Learning to Read from John Baldessari at Museo Jumex, Mexico City (11 November 2017 – 08 April 2018).

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