Flags, maps and numbers were among the artist’s earliest repeating motifs. In “Map” (1961), the artist blurs the boundaries of states and strikes a line through the name South Carolina. Credit…Jasper Johns/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Charlie Rubin for The New York Times.
And basically, I’ll stay with the impression I had, as I walked through the shows in Philadelphia and New York, that I was perusing a rigorous but passionate personal diary, a six-decade record of work, need, love, anger, renewal, sweat, fear, and resolve. It’s being recorded by an artist who, particularly over the past quarter century, has, in his art, consistently mapped the psychological terrain of aging, and who, in his present work, takes the position of a deer standing in the path of oncoming headlights — distant at first, coming closer, almost here — and holds his ground and stares them down.
(Holland Cotter, “Jasper Johns: Divide and Conquer,” NYTimes, 9-23-21)
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