Pictures & Scripts is a 2015 series of 20 paintings by John Baldessari (B. 1931) composed of still images from black and white films with excerpts from fictitious, narrative film scripts. The images are removed from their context and capture moments of paused action, which can be interpreted in multiple ways. Displayed alongside the image, these lines of text work to recontextualize the meaning of the image, and to add new life to their original purpose.
John Baldessari (b. 1931) never touched this painting. He did not paint it. He did not write the text. “There is a certain kind of work one could do that didn’t require a studio,” Baldessari said, “it’s work that is done in one’s head. The artists could be the facilitator of the work; executing it was another matter.” This concept – that an artist could present an idea rather than a material object from their own hand – was a way for Baldessari to take apart the notion of what art could be. In 1966 art meant painting, sculpture, or drawing, and with wry humor, Baldessari challenges this expectation. The viewer receives a painting in Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell (1966 – 68), but the painting is completed by sign painters. The viewer is presented with a painting’s content, but the content is text taken from an art trade magazine dictating what content should be. Clever!
Photographed in the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.
Three Dimensional digital archival print with acrylic paint on Sintra, Dibond and Gatorfoam Panels. Commissioned by [Super Secret Corporation] in consultation with Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin.