Wrong

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Wrong

1966-1968
Paintings
Photoemulsion with acrylic on canvas
59 x 45 in. (149.86 x 114.3 cm)
Contemporary Art Council (M.71.40)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

A pioneer of Conceptual art, John Baldessari worked at a time during which the object was in disrepute and ideas reigned....
A pioneer of Conceptual art, John Baldessari worked at a time during which the object was in disrepute and ideas reigned. His exploration of language questions the very nature of communication, a subject that grows more complex with each technological advance. In Wrong, an early and pivotal example of Conceptualism, Baldessari is photographed with a palm tree seemingly growing out of his head (a well-known error in photographic composition). The title Wrong is meant to refer to multiple types of "wrongness" and also be ironic: a basic tenet of Modern art and the avant-garde is that there are no inviolable rules or universal standards when it comes to making, conceiving, or judging art. As Baldessari explained, "I loved the idea that somebody would just say that this is right and this is wrong. So I decided I would have . . . a work of art that was wrong—which seemed right to me."
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Bibliography

  • Tuchman, Maurice.  Ten Years of Contemporary Art Council Acquisitions: Inaugurating The New Contemporary Art Galleries.  Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1973.
  • A Focus on California:  Selections from the Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1984.
  • Tuchman, Maurice.  Ten Years of Contemporary Art Council Acquisitions: Inaugurating The New Contemporary Art Galleries.  Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1973.
  • A Focus on California:  Selections from the Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1984.
  • Grundberg, Andy; Gauss, Kathleen McCarthy. Photography and Art:  Interactions Since 1946. Fort Lauderdale, Florida:  Museum of Art; Los Angeles, CA:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1987.
  • Barron, Stephanie; Draguet, Michel; with the assitance of Cochran, Sara ; essays by Armstrong, Richard; Barron, Stephanie; Bernstein, Roberta; Cochran, Sara; Draguet, Michel; Duve, Thierry de; Karmel, Pepe; Papanikolas, Theresa; Roussel, Noëllie; Tashjian, Dickran; Zelevansky, Lynn. Magritte and Contemporary Art:  The Treachery of Images. Los Angeles:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Belgium:  Ludion, 2006.
  • Mark, Lisa Gabrielle; Paul Schimmel, eds. Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Munich; New York : DelMonico Books-Prestel, 2011.
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