John Baldessari, Double Bill (2012), installation view. Images courtesy of Galerie Marian Goodman.
John Baldessari showcases his wit and playfulness with Double Bill at the Galerie Marian Goodman in Paris. In a series of seven new paintings, Baldessari juxtaposes two iconic works of art on one canvas. By naming only one of the artists whose work he has appropriated in each piece, Baldessari asks the viewer to tap in to one’s own memory to find the name. In this way, Double Bill functions as a kind of art historical name game.
John Baldessari, …and Balthus (2012)
John Baldessari, …and Duchamp (2012)
By bringing together the works of two distinct artists, Baldessari hopes to breathe new life into each image. “On one hand I think the older an image is the more it is exhausted of meaning—where it is a cliché. It’s dead. Because clichés are dead,” he says. “I like the idea of playing Dr. Frankenstein and reinvesting the dead, a metaphor, with life again. Because clichés are true—they just have lost their meaning. And I can pump another kind of meaning back into it, but you are still aware of the source and where I’m directing the traffic.”
John Baldessari, …and Matisse (2012)
Combined as one piece, the works illicit a different response than they do on their own. Baldessari explains, “Maybe it’s closer to the truth that I am interested in what happens when two images abut each other. It’s like when two words collide and some new word in some new meaning comes out of it.”
John Baldessari, …and Dubuffet (2012)
John Baldessari, …and Picabia (2012)
John Baldessari, …and Manet (2012)