Edition of 35
Overall composition, approximately: 52 x 70 inches (132 x 178 cm)
John Baldessari’s “Black Dice” is based on a promotional shot taken from a Midcentury film of the same name. The nine equal sections of Baldessari’s work are independent abstract compositions that, when assembled in a grid, become more identifiable and ultimately depict that single moment in the movie. Like a film broken down into stills, Baldessari has broken the single still down into sections. Baldessari believed that the source photo was a variable component of the installation, leaving the decision as to whether to include it up to the viewer, furthering the ongoing tension between parts and whole. Throughout his work, Baldessari broke imagery down into parts, expanded those sections’ potentials and then reassembled them to create both identifiable and also entirely new compositions where what was central could be omitted and elements on the periphery could take on heightened roles.