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John Baldessari: Pictures and Scripts

  • Marian Goodman Gallery 5-8 Lower John St London, W1F 9DY United Kingdom (map)

The Marian Goodman Gallery in London has only been open for a few months, and I believe it is one of the most stunning art spaces that London has on offer at the moment. Join us for an exploration of the space and a new major exhibition by John Baldessari.

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by John Baldessari, in conjunction with Marian Goodman Paris. Pictures & Scripts, at the London gallery will present a series of new works, the artist's first solo exhibition in London since his retrospective Pure Beauty at Tate Modern in 2009. 

Pictures & Scripts is a series of 20 new paintings that juxtapose still images appropriated from black and white films with excerpts from fictive narrative film scripts. Removed from their original contexts, these appropriated film stills capture moments of paused action, within which selected forms have been discretely over-painted in monochrome fields. The excerpts of dialogue between unknown characters hint at conversations between art world insiders, humorously denuding the commercial arm of the art industry. The lineage of these diptychs can be traced back to Baldessari’s early experiments with text and image in the mid-1960s, wherein empty canvases were painted with statements derived from contemporary art theory.

Initially trained as a painter, Baldessari began experimenting with text and photography and incorporating them into his work in the mid-1960s, evolving his practice through the 1970s into printmaking, film, sculpture and installation. Baldessari has developed a body of work that demonstrates and discloses the narrative potential of images and their associative power with text and language of which the foundations can be found in a selection of key pieces in Early Work.