Art21 Extended Play

John Baldessari | “Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads”


During the installation of his exhibition Raised Eyebrows/ Furrowed Foreheads (2009) at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, artist John Baldessari discusses his life-long obsession with the distinction between parts and wholes, as well as his reductive philosophy of art-making.

Synthesizing photomontage, painting, and language, Baldessari’s deadpan visual juxtapositions equate images with words and illuminate, confound, and challenge meaning. He upends commonly held expectations of how images function, often by drawing the viewer’s attention to minor details, absences, or the spaces between things.

Baldessari’s work can currently be seen at Tate Modern in London in the retrospective titled Pure Beauty (through January 2010) and at Sprüeth Magers in London in the solo exhibition Ear Sofa Nose Sconces with Flowers (in Stage Setting) (through tomorrow, November 14th).

John Baldessari is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Systems of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS.

VIDEO | Producer: 
Wesley Miller & 
Nick Ravich

. Interview: 
Susan Sollins

. Camera: 
Bob Elfstrom & Sam Henriques. Sound: Tom Bergin. Ray Day. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & 
Paulo Padilha. 

Artwork Courtesy: 
John Baldessari. Thanks: Analia Saban & Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.