“200 Years Städel”, the bicentennial celebrations of Frankfurt’s Städel Museum, culminated with a solo exhibition of works by the internationally renowned American artist John Baldessari. Therefor the artist executed a total of sixteen new pieces related explicitly to the Städel Museum collection, which spans seven hundred years of art.
American artist John Baldessari (b. in National City, California, in 1931) is one of the most influential artists alive today. For „John Baldessari. The Städel Paintings“ he created, based on holdings from the Städel’s collection, a new series of works. A number of very different works from the Städel holdings—masterpieces, but also unusual finds in the storage depots, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Agnolo Bronzino, Dirck van Baburen, Bartolomeo Veneto, Justus Juncker, Erró, Maria Lassnig and others—served him as visual material for his large-scale collages.
Taking these selected works as his point of departure, the artist explored the relationship between painting and photography, but also that between image and language. In the process he not only isolated specific details of the Städel paintings but also partially overpainted those details and combined them with texts formally reminiscent of excerpts from Hollywood film scripts to create large horizontally or vertically divided diptychs. The result was a suspenseful and complex consonance/dissonance that queries old and new art alike and breaks with established patterns of perception.
Curator: Dr. Martin Engler (Head of the Collection of Contemporary Art, Städel Museum)
Andy Warhol’s INTERVIEW magazine, Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main