SEGMENT: John Baldessari in "Systems"

From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 5 (2009)

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“I’m always interested in things that we don’t call art, and I say why not?” asks John Baldessari. Filmed in his California studio, the artist consults with his assistant on a color-coded group of maquettes for a series of photographic bas-reliefs. “One of the reasons I gave up painting is because it’s all about being tasteful,” he explains, “I just decided to be very systematic about it and use the color wheel.” Throughout a segment that features over fifty pieces, including works in the inaugural exhibition of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA, Baldessari assails conventional wisdom about art and meaning. In an installation at Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, Germany, Baldessari humorously reconfigures an entire brick building by noted architect Mies van der Rohe. “Aesthetically, I always look for the weak link in the chain,” he says.

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