Jasper Johns

What's on: Jasper Johns

Gagosian Gallery

Sober times, for this particular gallery as well as for the world in general, give Gagosian’s mini-survey of Jasper Johns’ prints (until 7 June) made over 15 years, between 1987 and 2002, a particular resonance. We all need a bit of gravitas right now, and in their distinctive combination of immediate, channel-hopping serendipity with a more slow-burning layering of images, Johns’ richly textured graphic works are a powerful demonstration of his continuing ability to be both of, and beyond, the prevailing climate. Often, the iconography is familiar from the paintings but the prints are a complete body of work in their own right and Johns’ visual vocabulary of fractured maps, shadowy family photographs, vessels, profiles, tessellated areas of cross-hatching or single staring eyes carry their own authority on paper as much as on canvas (above, “Green angels 2”, 1997).

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 136 May 2003