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Great Eastern Sun Art vs. Setting Sun Art #14: John Baldessari at the Met

I read somewhere (or made it up) that John Baldessari gets as much heat as Marcel Duchamp for ruining art. Duchamp's misinterpreted "anything goes" policy towards art making has lead to heaps of crap out there justified by the historical precident set by a urinal with "R.Mutt" tagged on it. I hear that. Baldessari's work has been widely influential for the last 200 years (at least) and sometimes I'm sick of seeing his ghost (he's not dead but you know what I mean) hovering over the work of emerging and not-so emerging artists and sometimes I'm not so bummed out by it (more of a Casper the Friendly Ghost situation). Seems Baldessari is one of those artists other artists can make an entire career out of by grabbing hold of one facit of his production. That's something, eh? I think so.

Let's explore other artists that he's influenced, artists that seemingly rip him off regularly, etc. Post some examples. I'll do the same.

Right now the Metropolitan Museum has an exhibition on of his work that claims "this is the first major U.S. exhibition in twenty years to survey the work of the legendary American artist John Baldessari, widely renowned as a pioneer of conceptual art."

Friday I'll go see the show, probably afternoonish, if anyone's interested in joining me shoot me a message in email or on here.

So what do you all think? Is Baldessari's work Great Eastern Sun Art or Setting Sun Art? Are there specific pieces that represent one or ther other? Let's get the discussion going and try to beat out last week's utter lack of enthusiams for Gedi Sebony's work (I'll be seeing that show on Saturday I think).



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vs Paul Thek

Man I just wasn't into that Paul Thek show like I thought I would be but was TOTALLY into the Baldessari show. Saw them on the same day. I'll be seeing Baldessari again.

excellent early works



After seeing this show I can definitely say I'm wrong about Baldessari and his ouvre is amazing and important and it's another situation where arrogance and knowing has totally fucked my being able to see clearly. The most recent phase of his work sucks though, seriously.


I like Baldessari's work a lot, definitely GES. It seems like he is trying to have fun with art, it feels fresh and the purpose is not always directly clear–which I like.

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