Selected Works by John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha
15 September – 14 November 2021 • Selling Exhibition • Palm Beach

S otheby's Palm Beach is pleased to present Selected Works by John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. Showcasing two pioneers of the West Coast art scene, this exhibition provides a unique occasion to view a curated selection of their work side by side. Contributing immensely to California Conceptualism in the 1960s, both Baldessari and Ruscha employed text and imagery together, often incorporating wit and sarcasm into their language-based content. All works exhibited are published by Mixografía®, which is not only a publisher, but also a medium invented. As such, the paper is not only just the support but is part of the work, as a result adding three dimensionality to a normally flat medium. The collection, featuring emotive, bold palettes and motifs, is a testament to each artists' distinct practice and a nod to their extraordinary breadth of subject matter and vision.

Location:
150 Royal Poinciana Plaza, Palm Beach, FL

Hours:
15 September – 14 November 2021
Tuesday - Friday 10am–5pm Saturday 11am–5pm Sunday 12pm–4pm

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A prominent conceptual artist, visionary and mentor, John Baldessari's fascination with the narrative quality of witty tropes, humor and symbolism has largely defined his oeuvre, which presents a wide range of mediums including video, photography, prints, painting, sculpture and installation. His extremely prolific career is marked, most notably, by an intersection of these formats; playfully painting text on canvases, using video to supplement a physical work, or using photo-collage to cover the faces of characters and significant public figures, such as in Stonehenge (With Two Persons) series. Not just a creator, Baldessari also helped build and foster a young and budding Los Angeles art scene, teaching at institutions such as the California Institute of the Arts and the University of California, Los Angeles, mentoring notable students including Eric Fischl, Tony Oursler and David Salle. A vow and defining statement of his legacy, "I will not make any more boring art," epitomizes his vision as his works continue to delight and inspire countless others even after his passing in January 2020 at the age of 88.

An icon of West Coast Pop Art, Ed Ruscha's use of signage and compelling landscapes explore the relationship between typography and image, often incorporating neglected urban scenery or symbols with clever text. His early interest in graphic design and commercial advertising can be clearly seen as an influence, which is evident particularly in works that feature road signs or poster-like depictions of bold statements fused with archetypal American spaces or symbols. By replicating weathered and rusted metal signage, as in Rusty Signs - Dead End 1, Ruscha suggests a contextual history of a forgotten place, a muted warning. His continued reference of perspective in regards to landscape also provides a common theme throughout his work, creating elusive narratives such as in Petro Plots: Pacific Coast Highway/ Sunset Boulevard. Regarded as one of the most important living artists today, Ruscha maintains an active practice in his studio daily, further developing his iconic style and technique.

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I've always been fascinated by the multiple meanings that are contained within the image, the way that an image's meaning can change through its association and placement with other images. Such arrangements reveal the way in which an image functions as part of a larger visual language. Meaning is derived from its immediate surroundings in the same way that a single word derives its meaning dependent on its use in a sentence.
- John Baldessari

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