I Am Making Art by John Baldessari

I Am Making Art
1971
Conceptual Art
Performance video

In this video, Baldessari makes several arm movements reciting the phrase ‘I am making art’ after each movement. Baldessari, always aware of the power of choice in artistic practice such as choosing to paint something red and not blue or green, is carefully associating his arm movements with his artistic choices that a painter or sculptor may make and concluding that choice is a form of art in itself. He also confronts one of the most fascinating problems of Conceptual Art; how much can art be reduced and simplified before it ceases to be art? While not offering a definitive answer, the implication is the gap between art and life is unperceivable.

John Baldessari
Conceptual Art, The Pictures Generation, Photomontage
Born: 17 June 1931, California, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 2 January 2020, California, USA

Baldessari was a leading Conceptual artist. In his early career painting was important to his work. In the early 1960s he was working in a gestural style but towards the end of the decade he had introduced text and pre-existing images to create riddles highlighting some of the assumptions of contemporary art. In the 1970s he gave up painting in favour of using diverse range of media centred on the photographic image. Conceptual Art provided the catalyst in shaping his interest in exploring how photographs communicate.

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