John Baldessari’s Class Assignments

John Baldessari: Class Assignments, (Optional), 1970, 2011 Courtesy of the Wattis and John Baldessari

Continuing the topic of artist-led education, CCA’s Wattis Institute just opened an exhibition based on John Baldessari’s class assignments for his revolutionary course at Cal Arts entitled Cal Arts Post Studio Art: Class Assignments (optional), 1970.  This new exhibition John Baldessari: Class Assignments (Optional) challenges present day students at CCA to complete the tasks given to Baldessari’s original students, which range from “Talk with your knee to something knee high” to the slightly less specific “imitate Baldessari in actions and speech.”

As we mentioned in our last post, Moscow Conceptualist Osmolovsky is operating in a context where a contemporary art education has yet to be defined. In 1970, art education in America had become too defined. With his provocatively titled course, “Post Studio,” Baldessari exploded all existing models.  For some of the students’ recollections and a short video of Baldessari’s own thoughts on the experience, check out the LACMA blog. For a more in-depth look at the class, we suggest “A Situation Where Art Might Happen,” Baldessari’s recent interview with critic Christopher Knight.

The Wattis Institute exhibition, John Baldessari: Class Assignments (Optional) , opens today, January 19, and will run through March 31, 2012.

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