Tuesday to Sunday
11 AM - 5 PM

I Am Making Art



John Baldessari

Currently not on display
Acquired in 2001
Inventory number 2574

The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 3400 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.

If you need specific information on this work or artist, remember that the Van Abbemuseum Library is at your disposal, or feel free to write to the library.


In an ironic reference to body art, process art and performance, Baldessari challenges definitions of the content and execution of art-making. Performing with deadpan precision, he moves his hands, arms and entire body in studied, minute motions, intoning the phrase "I am making art" with each gesture. Each articulation of the phrase is given a different emphasis and nuance, as if art were being created from moment to moment. This index of body movements is ironically offset by the repetitive monotony of the exercise. Although Baldessari demurs from calling himself a performer — "I think performance for me is a little bit too hot an activity" — his "anti-performance" is nonetheless the core of this work.