John Baldessari

Senior West Coast artist, if anything more relevant than ever, after 50 years in the business

In last year’s Power 100 we gushed how cool this West Coast stalwart is. Well, it’s always the way – the cool people just get cooler. For his Autumn/ Winter collection for Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane issued an invitation and showbook featuring artwork supplied by Baldessari and centred the collection around three heavily-sequined dresses inspired by the artist’s 50-year career. Sticking to things French: the artist also unveiled a 30m-long light installation in Paris titled Your Name in Lights (2011), in which members of the public’s names are… well, you get the picture. Yet it was back home that Baldessari showed what an artworld powerhouse he is – beyond, even, the fact of his canonical art – when he, alongside peers Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie, gave MoCA’s new director, Philippe Vergne, a vote of confidence by returning to the beleaguered museum’s board in March this year, after having left it in June 2012 in protest at the direction Jeffrey Deitch was taking the institution.