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.