I am interested in what gets us to stop and look, as opposed to simply consuming images passively. A quietly towering figure in contemporary art, John Baldessari is widely considered one of the most influential artists to emerge since the mid-1960s. For nearly five decades his prolific and highly varied work has challenged our ways of looking at art, images, and text. A renowned teacher as well, first at California Institute of the Arts and later at UCLA, he has had an important impact on the practice of subsequent generations of media savvy artists. From his early text-and-image paintings to the more recent photocollages and installations, Baldessari has continued to make art that addresses the social impact of mass culture, often playfully, and always with a sly profundity. His lifelong exploration of the gap between the verbal and the visual has probed the very nature of communication and perception. John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, the most comprehensive volume to date on this legendary California artist, features more than 240 illustrations. Eleven insightful essays, by critics, curators, art historians, and an artist and former student, illuminate many aspects of Baldessari’s oeuvre and provide a context for the artists extraordinary contribution to twentieth and twenty-first century art. Few contemporary artists have achieved Baldessari’s range and relevance and this stunning volume, with its expansive reproductions and substantial text, provides the definitive look at an artist who has engagingly challenged our very ways of seeing.