John Baldessari is best known for his juxtapositions of found photographs or film stills, removing them from their original context to expose the many ways in which photographic images can be understood. Baldessari made this collage just after the United States launched the manned space mission Discovery in 1986. Three astronauts stride confidently out of a space vehicle, above a group portrait of nine suited men. Obscuring the figures’ faces with circles—primary colored for the astronauts, black for the businessmen—Baldessari erases their individuality and underscores the link between the space program and the economic prosperity of the 1980s.


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Artist
John Baldessari, American, born 1931
Title
Astronauts and Businessmen
Date
1988
Medium
Gelatin silver prints with applied acrylic paint
Dimensions
Image: 72 5/16 × 45 5/8 in. (183.6 × 115.9 cm) Mount: 72 5/16 × 45 5/8 in. (183.6 × 115.9 cm)
Credit Line

Gift of Manfred Heiting. The Manfred Heiting Collection

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2002.2977
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

PaceMacGill Gallery; Manfred Heiting; MFAH, 2002.