John Baldessari was on site this week supervising the installation of his retrospective, Pure Beauty, which includes works from the beginning of his career in the early 1960s to today. The show opens this Sunday to the general public and is open now if you’re a member.

The final gallery is devoted to an installation called Brain/Cloud (Two Views: With Palm Tree and Seascapes), created just for the exhibition. It includes a giant brain/cloud sculpture suspended on a blue wall and a time-delay video projection on the opposite wall. The brain/cloud presides over a photo mural landscape of a palm tree and ocean view. Baldessari has said, “I like banal images and I can’t think of anything more banal than a palm tree and an ocean.”

Curator Leslie Jones observes, “Brain/Cloud verges on the freakish and grotesque, but it maintains an affable, cartoonish quality. Like much of the artist’s work, it suggests the multiple ways that images (and words) can be seen and interpreted.”

Here’s a short excerpt with Baldessari talking about Brain/Cloud and other work.

Amy Heibel

2 Responses to Brain/Cloud

  1. bob says:

    When you hear this guy talk it kind of shows you that there is not much there. He realized a brain looks like a cloud so he made a big brain. Not too interesting there really. It might at well just be decorative arts. It is just slightly “weird” so people say it is art. Am I wrong? And if so, why?

  2. Jennifer Golden says:

    this was the first thing my seven-year-old daughter and i encountered at LACMA today. she had so much fun interacting with the time delay camera. i loved the idea of the brain making fleeting images/memories only to be replaced a few seconds later by something else. this was our favorite piece of the whole day.

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