John Baldessari, one of America's most influential conceptual artists, has died


VENICE, Calif. — One of America’s most influential contemporary artists John Baldessari has died aged 88.

Confirming his death via Twitter on Sunday, Marian Goodman, whose eponymous gallery represented the artist, described him as “intelligent, loving and incomparable.”

Baldessari’s conceptual art was widely celebrated as both thought-provoking and, often, irreverently humorous. He was renowned for combining photography with various other media, with some of his most iconic works featuring colorful dots pasted over subjects’ faces in portraits and found photographs.

Born in National City, California in 1931, Baldessari began his art career as painter. But by the mid-1960s he had begun experimenting with a wide variety of media spanning film, collage and installations. He famously disowned his earlier work, and in 1970 burned the paintings he had created between 1953 and 1966 at a crematorium, before baking cookies with the ashes.

In 2014, he was presented the National Medal of Arts by then US president Barack Obama. The artist also won the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2009, which featured his work on multiple occasions throughout his career.

Baldessari was living and working in Venice, California, at the time of his death.

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