John Baldessari the influential conceptual artist has died aged 88 at home in Los Angeles

John Baldessari
Photo © 2001 Kim Schoenstadt

John Baldessari, the influential conceptual artist who helped transform Los Angeles into a global art capital died on Thursday at his home in Venice, Los Angeles. He was 88.

His death was confirmed on Sunday by Virginia Gatelein, his studio manager and the chairwoman of his foundation. No cause was given.

John Baldessari, Who Gave Conceptual Art a Dose of Humor, Is Dead at 88 New York Times

John Baldessari, radically influential Conceptual artist, dies at 88 Los Angeles Times

About The Artist
John Baldessari was born in National City, California in 1931. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1953 from San Diego State College. After a year of advanced art history studies at the University of California, Berkley, Baldessari returned to San Diego State College where he received his Master of Arts in Painting in1957. He proceeded to engage in post-graduate work at Chouinard Art Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Baldessari taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA from 1970-1988 and UCLA 1996-2007.

Baldessari’s artwork has been featured in more than 300 solo exhibitions and in over 1000 group exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. His projects include unique works, prints, artist books, videos, films, billboards and public works. His awards and honors include the 2014 National Medal of Arts Award, an award from the International Print Center New York in 2016, memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by La Biennale di Venezia, the City of Goslar Kaiserring in 2012, and the BACA International 2008. He has received honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland, San Diego State University and Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. He currently lives and works in Venice, California.

Recently Museo Jumex held a retrospective titled “Learning to Read with John Baldessari,” in Mexico City, 2017. Editions have been showcased at Gemini G.E.L. and Mixografia in Los Angeles, CA 2017-2019, and the Laguna Museum of Art in 2019. Mai 36 showcased a series of unique works titled “Windmills” in Zurich, Switzerland 2018. Marian Goodman exhibited a series of unique works titled “Hot & Cold Series,” in New York 2019.

John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné, Volume Five: 2005-2010 was published by Yale University Press in 2018, Volume Six 2011-2019 is forthcoming this year.

View this post on Instagram

#Repost @brian_balfouroatts ??? I am truly sorry to hear of the death of John Baldessari, who was a key part of the Los Angeles avant-garde from the 60s onwards. His famous 1971 work "I will not make any more boring art" is a masterstroke of conceptual art. Invited to lecture at Nova Scotia College, but not having the funds to travel there, Baldessari issued instructions to its students to do lines instead. They covered the walls with them, and made the famous print, all without the artist being there – which of course raised excellent questions over the actual role of the artist. A great figure and a great loss to art – John Baldessari (1931-2020) . #johnbaldessari #baldessari #rip #conceptualart #losangeles #avantgarde #iwillnotmakeanymoreboringart #contemporaryart #greatartists #artworld #california

A post shared by Art Direct (@art.direct) on

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper'