June 24, 2010

John Baldessari was on site this week supervising the installation of his retrospective, Pure Beauty, which includes works from the beginning of his career in the early 1960s to today. The show opens this Sunday to the general public and is open now if you’re a member.

The final gallery is devoted to an installation called Brain/Cloud (Two Views: With Palm Tree and Seascapes), created just for the exhibition. It includes a giant brain/cloud sculpture suspended on a blue wall and a time-delay video projection on the opposite wall. The brain/cloud presides over a photo mural landscape of a palm tree and ocean view. Baldessari has said, “I like banal images and I can’t think of anything more banal than a palm tree and an ocean.”

Curator Leslie Jones observes, “Brain/Cloud verges on the freakish and grotesque, but it maintains an affable, cartoonish quality. Like much of the artist’s work, it suggests the multiple ways that images (and words) can be seen and interpreted.”

Here’s a short excerpt with Baldessari talking about Brain/Cloud and other work.

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Amy Heibel