John Baldessari. I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art. 1971
John Baldessari

I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art

1971
Not on view
Medium
Lithograph
Dimensions
composition: 22 3/8 x 29 9/16" (56.8 x 75.1 cm); sheet: 22 7/16 x 30 1/16" (57 x 76.4 cm)
Publisher
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax
Printer
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Lithography Workshop, Halifax
Edition
50
Credit
John B. Turner Fund
Object number
1.1972
Copyright
© 2015 John Baldessari
Department
Drawings and Prints

In July of 1970, disillusioned with the state of painting in the 1960s, John Baldessari burned many of his early landscapes and abstractions. By then he had abandoned the painterly conventions he found alienating and was making canvases using photographs and texts. Works like I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, his first print, demonstrate his thinking at the time and his developing interest in Conceptual art. Created at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in conjunction with an unconventional exhibition, it depicts a sentence that Baldessari instructed students to write on the gallery walls "like punishment." He was not present at the "exhibition," nor at the workshop where the print was made. He simply sent a handwritten page to be reproduced and made a videotape of himself writing the sentence.

Such activities were typical of this school's experimental program in the 1970s. Its lithography workshop, in particular, served to broaden the scope of printmaking by inviting artists like Baldessari, Vito Acconci, Dennis Oppenheim, and others to explore its potential for Conceptual art projects.

Baldessari has gone on to make about ninety prints, primarily in his signature photo-collage style. An example of his collages, made from stills of old B-movies superimposed with geometric shapes, is seen here in an illustration for a special edition of Tristram Shandy. This spread is part of an accordion-folded volume of his illustrations commissioned by Andrew Hoyem of The Arion Press. When Hoyem learned of Baldessari's interest in Laurence Sterne's novel of 1760, he invited him to participate in a new publication that matches Sterne's disregard for plot and punctuation with the artist's own disjointed imagery. The project also includes a volume of the complete text with all its eccentricities intact, and another containing a critical essay.

Publication excerpt from Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 188

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource