Museo Jumex presents Learning to Read with John Baldessari. This major survey will feature more than 80 works including early instruction paintings and his iconic photo-collages, as well as videos, sculptures, text-based works and editions from a career spanning more than half a century.
The exhibition draws on the artist’s practice of addressing pedagogic themes of instruction, the class, and judgment that appear in his work from the 1960s to the present. The dichotomy between learning and unlearning in Baldessari’s own playful and idiosyncratic method is revealed through this survey of his work, hung from A-Z – a subverted didactic that displays the tension between text and image. Each section of the exhibition looks at interpretation from a different perspective, alluding to the lessons the artist’s work conveys, and the impossible task of ‘reading’ John Baldessari.
One of the most influential artists of the past five decades, Baldessari has continually investigated how image and language collide and collude, and how art itself is made and understood. Using devices such as visual puns, word games, quotations and instructions, the artist employs a wry humor that, beneath the surface, touches on deeper truths regarding how we communicate through culture, and how art might reinvent itself.