Video: A Brief History of John Baldessari

The CalArts community and the art world mourn the loss of influential conceptual artist and teacher John Baldessari (Chouinard 59), who passed away on Jan. 2, at age 88.

One of the first School of Art faculty members, Baldessari taught at CalArts from 1970-1988. Known for his sardonic wit and his (in)famous post-studio class, Baldessari influenced a generation of students that includes David Salle (Art BFA 73), Jack Goldstein (Art MFA 72), Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78), Tony Oursler (Art BFA 79), James Welling (Art BFA 72, MFA 74), Barbara Bloom (Art BFA 72), Meg Cranston (MFA Art 86) and Matt Mullican (Art BFA 74).

His personal mantra and directive — “Make No More Boring Art”— has become the clarion call for many CalArtians and other artists who will undoubtedly continue his towering legacy.

Although 24700 posted the video, A Brief History of John Baldessari, a few years ago, it’s worth sharing again, especially for those unfamiliar with the artist. Created by filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, aka Supermarché, the film gives viewers a brief history of Baldessari’s life and work. Some of the photos in the video were provided by the CalArts Library and Archive.

Narrated by musician Tom Waits, the film was originally screened at LACMA’s first Art + Film Gala in 2011, which honored Baldessari and actor-director Clint Eastwood.

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