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John Baldessari

John Baldessari

In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to CalArts, the Institute will name the building that houses its new art studios in honor of Chouinard alumnus and long-time faculty member John Baldessari.

The legendary artist and educator, who taught at CalArts 1970-1986, influenced a generation of students that includes David Salle (Art BFA 73), Jack Goldstein (Art MFA 72), Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78), Tony Oursler (Art BFA 79), James Welling (Art BFA 72, MFA 74), Barbara Bloom (Art BFA 72), Matt Mullican (Art BFA 74) and Troy Brauntuch (Art BFA 75). Baldessari’s now famous dictum, directed first at himself, and later to students in his post-studio class, was, “Make No More Boring Art.” If the culture of CalArts has a mantra, that may well be it.

The Institute’s newest educational facility features exhibition and instructional space as well as 16 artists’ studios. In support of the building, as well as urgently needed scholarship endowment for students in the School of Art, an unprecedented fundraising initiative–The CalArts Art Benefit and Auction will kick-off in New York and online in the spring of 2014. The initiative has several distinct but related components.

John Baldessari Art Studio Building

John Baldessari Art Studio Building

More than 40 works donated by CalArts alumni and faculty artists will be presented in an exhibition and sale at Paula Cooper Gallery and Metro Pictures in New York from April 5 to April 19, 2014, with a preview at Regen Projects in Los Angeles in March 2014. Clara Kim, most recently Senior Curator of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center and former Gallery Director and Curator of REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) from 2008-2011 will organize the exhibition, providing a rich context for the work of these artists that hold prominent places in the history of CalArts. They include works by current and former faculty Sam Durant (Art MFA 91), Charles Gaines, Tom Lawson, Barbara Kruger, Harry Dodge, Rodney McMillian (Art MFA 02), David Salle, Allan Sekula, and Kaari Upson (Art MFA 07), among many others.

Artsy, the premiere online platform for discovering and collecting art, will be the exclusive online partner for the presentation and sale of the works. On May 13, 2014, Christie’s will auction works by more than 20 artists including John Baldessari, Walead Beshty, Vija Celmins, Matt Mullican, Catherine Opie (Art MFA 88), Tony Oursler, Ed Ruscha (Chouinard 60), Carrie Mae Weems (Art BFA 81), and James Welling, among many others.

All proceeds from the gallery, online, and auction sales—which are expected to total between $4-6 million—will benefit CalArts’ School of Art so that it can continue to educate and nurture artists as it has for decades, specifically through The John Baldessari Art Studio Building and endowed scholarships.

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