Artist John Baldessari chatting outside the Mai 36 Galerie booth.
In art stars traveling Europe news, we spotted conceptual artist/youtube star John Baldessari earlier this week at the Venice Biennale, and today outside Mai 36 Galerie. We also observed his work at Mai 36 as well as at Meert. Seeing as how we’ve seen about a quarter of the fair, any Baldessari roundups are a little premature, but we did capture samples at radically different ends of the quality spectrum.
John Baldessari, Prima Facie (fifth state): Organic Order, 2005-2007, Archival print on aluminum, Mai 36 Galerie
Organic Order refers to the name Baldessari gives his particular tone of paint, though there’s no reason a viewer would know this. It’s a nice added layer, but the piece works because organic order is lyrical in its imprecision.
John Baldessari, Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads, Knife with Hands, 2009, Meert Gallery
Baldessari presented similar work at the 2008 Whitney Biennial and I wasn’t excited about it then. There’s just not very much interesting going on in these works, and therefore little to say about them.