John Baldessari

John Baldessari is a modern conceptual whose more recent works incorporate images and text. The Tetriad Series, created in 1999, is a series of pieces he created by using a four-panel setup of various content. The first three panels contain stills from films or video, sections of artworks by other artists (specifically romantic painter Francisco Goya), and images from life. The final panel contains only text lifted from the works of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. The Tetriad Series was Baldessary’s attempt to combine language and visuals, being a strong believer that language can be a form of art all its own.

Two pieces from The Tetriad Series, What Was Seen and Necessary Facts, both contain stills from Hitchcock’s spy thriller North by Northwest. Both of the lower-right panels are images from the iconic Mount Rushmore scene, when Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall are being chased by the henchmen of the villainous Vandamm.

However, as I do not have a strong understanding of modern art, I could not tell you the meaning of either of these works or even offer a guess. If someone else would like to give their interpretation, feel free!

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