Writing in these pages in 1995, art historian Lane Relyea remarked, “When you’ve experienced as much success as Baldessari has, you probably aren’t too worried about how urgent and timely your art looks, yet, without even trying, Baldessari’s still does.” Between then and now, the artist has rooted his legacy in Los Angeles, both as a significant pedagogical figure and as the subject of numerous touring museum retrospectives. This recent exhibition at Sprüth Magers, which inaugurated the gallery’s California venue, presented sixteen large ink-jet prints on canvas. All of the works featured found photographs while making room below the images for white strips on which captions were painted in Baldessari’s characteristically relaxed sans-serif typeface. As if to emphasize the work’s collaged nature, and continuing his practiced transgressions against painting’s historically accorded
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