John Baldessari

Engraving with Sound: Belch (2015)

John Baldessari (b. 1931 in National City, California) lives and works in southern California. One of the most influential American conceptualists, Baldessari is known for taking the associative powers of language and image to their limits – often through the wry restaging of familiar or highly mediagenic iconography, text, and forms. For this TzK anniversary edition, Baldessari has selected a work from his new series "Engraving with Sounds," in which, by copying old engravings and supplementing them with color, he transforms early modern drawings into a comic of sorts. In this piece, we see a whale that has been pulled to shore and placed on display. Given that the image, in the context of this journal, seems to wink at the famed “Bartleby pose,” it is only all the more humorous in light of the deadpan title which the artist has assigned it: "Belch.”

Archival inkjet print, 36.8 x 30.5 cm, Edition of 25 + 15 A.P, signed and numbered on labels.