The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘John Baldessari’

The Quotable David Salle

September 19, 2016 | by

Dana Schutz, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey, cropped, 2002, 36" x 32".

Dana Schutz, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey (detail), 2002, 36" x 32".

Recently, thanks to heavy wait times at the twenty-four-hour Genius Bar on Fifth Avenue, I found myself killing an evening at the Plaza with nothing to read but the galleys of a book of art criticism, How to See, by the painter David Salle. It turned out to be perfect company—witty, chatty, intimate, sharp. And slightly exotic (at least for this reader): you rarely see novelists write so knowingly, on a serious first-name basis, about each other’s work. Soon I was dog-earing and drawing lines in the margins next to favorite passages, as for example:

On recent paintings by Alex Katz:

Some of the color has the elegance and unexpectedness of Italian fashion design: teal blue with brown, black with blue and cream. You want to look at, wear, and eat them all at the same time.

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A Week in Culture: Claire Cottrell, Art Book Shop Owner and Editor

February 19, 2013 | by



7:00 A.M. Wake up to dog barking and strong skunk smell in house. Fear that door to garden was left open and skunk is loose in house. Get out of bed to confirm. Garden door is not open and skunk is not loose. Go back to bed for thirty minutes. 

7:30 A.M. Get out of bed. Wash face. Gather belongings, including black cocoon coat purchased for an imminent trip to Paris found for sixteen dollars the day before at a second-hand store. Head home to Mount Washington.

8:00 A.M. Arrive at home. Make tea. Take daily vitamins. Make new favorite quick morning oatmeal: half cup of oats, two heaping tablespoons of maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped apple, fresh dates, walnuts, boiling water. Settle in to enjoy oatmeal and tea. Realize that laptop, aka lifeline, is in Amos’s car. Freak out. Cancel all morning obligations, citing laptop debacle. Text Amos.

8:05 A.M. Amos drops off laptop.

8:10 A.M. Finish oatmeal. Finish tea. Resume all morning obligations. Including: reviewing reactions to Sybil’s sad demise on last night’s Downton Abbey, looking at Atelier Bow-Wow’s pet architecture—otherwise known as teeny tiny buildings on teeny tiny sliver of land—for an article, researching Bruno Munari’s useless machines for a contribution to the new arts journal, synonym. cover

9:15 A.M. Tackle e-mail. Respond to e-mails from three weeks ago. Debate including ‘apologies for the delayed response.’ Decide against it thinking, No need to always apologize. For all they know I answer e-mail every few weeks because I live in a cabin removed from civilization and spend most of my time in nature. Read More »


Questions Without Answers for John Baldessari

December 13, 2010 | by

John Baldessari, Portrait: (Self) #1 as Control + 11 Alterations by Retouching and Airbrushing, 1974.

A major exhibition devoted to the mercurial conceptual work of John Baldessari is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Here, on the occasion of that retrospective, the master painter David Salle puts some probing questions to Baldessari, his friend and former teacher.


I have always felt a deeply humanistic undertone in your work, despite its use of irony and obliqueness. But I am hard pressed to account for why I feel it and sometimes think it's because I have known you for a long time. Where do you think it resides?

Is a Conceptual artist different from any other kind of artist?

A lot of ink has been spilled about art as the new religion, with the museum as its church. Do you agree with that view? Do you crave a spiritual dimension to art, or are you a pure materialist? Conceptualism is closest to: a) rationalism, b) romanticism, or c) symbolism? Where do you place yourself on that scale? (Hint: Romanticism insists on the primacy of the individual.)

Here's a fan question: How did you come up with the idea of singing LeWitt? I understand the desire to tweak the seriousness of Conceptual art, but how did you arrive at the idea of the singing? And did you rehearse?

What’s the one thing an artist must never do? And, apart from questions like these, what is your definition of a bad art idea?

Harold Brodkey once said that people don’t like to be outshone—they’ll kill you if it bothers them enough. How have you managed to avoid this in your work?

John Baldessari, Noses & Ears, Etc.: Blood, Fist, and Head (with Nose and Ear), 2006.

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