Editions with Additions: Working Proofs by Jasper Johns at the National Gallery of Art

Jasper Johns. Target With Four Faces, 1968. National Gallery of Art.
"An aspect always of interest to me is to develop an idea or an image and execute it in different ways to determine what its meaning could be." ~Jasper Johns

The National Gallery of Art has acquired the largest institutional repository, over 1,700 proofs, by American contemporary artist Jasper Johns. A new exhibit at the museum showcases a selection of this acquisition

Johns is known for incorporating pop culture icons and symbols such as the American flag into his paintings. Though simplistic and familiar, whether or not there is a significance to the artist's execution of the imagery  is subject to interpretation. “There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists,” says Johns, who remains fairly elusive when asked to comment on his work.
WASHINGTON, DC /NGA/ — The prints of Jasper Johns (b. 1930) are heralded for their beauty as well as their conceptual and psychological complexity. A group of the artist's "working proofs" — prints pulled during the working process on which Johns made drawn and painted additions — will be showcased as independent works of art for the first time in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art.  
Editions with Additions: Working Proofs by Jasper Johns includes approximately 45 proofs for lithographs, etchings, and screenprints that the artist expanded in a range of media, including pastel, ink, and paint. The works of art are installed in two galleries. The first features works from the 1960s and 1970s, highlighting motifs associated with Johns' art throughout his career, such as the alphabet, targets, and body parts. The second gallery introduces complex compositions from the 1980s and 1990s, among them autobiographical references such as family photographs and art objects owned by the artist
This extraordinary body of work, which incorporate a range of media that includes graphite, pastel, ink, and watercolor, has been created and carefully annotated by Johns over four decades.
Editions with Additions: Working Proofs by Jasper Johns (Oct. 11, 2009 – April 4, 2010)
National Gallery of Art | Website

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