Artwork details

Space between Glad Hands
Black and white photograph
84,5 x 183,5 cm
John Baldessari

Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers.


Space between glad hands, 1986
John Baldessari is a leading artist in the West-Coast-based conceptual art movement that emerged in the 1970s. His distinctive works combine visual material from popular culture with language and semantic word play. The photo collage Space between glad hands is composed of photographic material of gesticulating, suit-clad men, chimpanzees and a dog. Although no words appear in the image itself, the combination of the photographic materials gives an impression of raucous and offensive language. The title Space between glad hands plays on the expressions “glad hands” and “glad-handing”, which are often used to describe how politicians shake everyone’s hands at a gathering as a gesture designed to instil trust. The work can be interpreted as a sardonic view of those in power, who are possibly governed more by their animal instincts than they would care to admit.


Address: Strandpromenaden 2, 0252 Oslo

© Astrup Fearnley Museet