Artist John Baldessari Passes

Artist John Baldessari Passes

Gabriella Jamerson, Foreign Correspondent

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John Baldessari was an American contemporary painter and conceptual artist. Baldessari passed January 2nd, 2020 at the age of 88. He lived and worked in Santa Monica and Venice, California. He was known for his unique art where he altered photographic imagery by combining photographs, painting, and text. He had hoped to compel the viewer to observe the other elements more in-depth while viewing his artwork.  John was heavily inspired by French artist Marcel Duchamp.

John Baldessari received his bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University. He originally intended to be an art critic, instead became a figure in the development of Los Angeles as a major art center. He became an art professor and loved to teach. Baldessari taught in schools, colleges, and universities for about three decades since 1959 and taught at CalArts before he taught at UCLA.

Baldessari was featured in 300 exhibits including Documenta, and Venice Biennial and in over 1000 group exhibits. He’s toured around the world to showcase his artwork and has received about 20 awards for his work.

“I could never figure out why photography and art had separate histories. So I decided to explore both,” said John Baldessari.