John Baldessari

“I will not make any more boring art”


The print is based on an installation created at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, but not by John Baldessari’s hand. “As there wasn’t enough money for me to travel to Nova Scotia, I proposed that the students voluntarily write ‘I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art’ on the walls of the gallery, like punishment. To my surprise they covered the walls.” Those same students made this print, but Baldessari wasn’t at the workshop when the print was made. In both cases, Baldessari gave scant instructions to the students from thousands of miles away, and he was not present to supervise, raising questions of authorship and the role of the artist.  Baldessari points out that language has made-up rules that we all agree to follow. Conventional notions of art may be as ingrained, passed down, and unquestioned as rules of language, but artists like Baldessari aimed to show that they are equally arbitrary, and open to interpretation. Baldesssari described his conceptual works as “what I thought art should be, not what somebody else would think art would be. You know, received wisdom, what you would get in school. And so a lot of my work was about questioning this received wisdom.”






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