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John Baldessari: Early years in Southern California [video]

October 6, 2011 |  7:30 pm


On Tuesday evening, John Baldessari joined Times art critic Christopher Knight at the Hammer Museum for a public conversation about his art and career.

During the next few days, we'll be posting video highlights from the discussion here on Culture Monster. In the first clip, which you can view after the jump, Baldessari talks about growing up and starting his career in National City, near San Diego.

"I thought my life would be just, like, teaching public schools to support myself -- you know, painting when I could on weekends," he explained. "I thought that would pretty much be it."

Of course, there was much more to come, though he didn't know it at the time. Today, Baldessari is considered to be among the top-ranking conceptual artists in the world. His creations cover photography, video, installation -- but mostly the gray areas in between where the different forms blend together into hybrids.

Tuesday's talk, part of the Hammer Conversations series, was tied to the recent launch of Pacific Standard Time, the regionwide series of exhibitions sponsored by the Getty focusing on the Southern California art scene from 1945 to 1980.

Here's our first clip from our talk with John Baldessari...


An online guide to Pacific Standard Time

Art review: 'John Baldessari: Pure Beauty' @ LACMA

From Baldessari to Teske, top 20 Pacific Standard Time artists

-- David Ng

Photo: John Baldessari. Credit: Los Angeles Times