The Easel

17th October 2017

EASEL ESSAY: “How to See the World Properly”: An Interview About Jasper Johns

A companion piece to Morgan Meis’ recent Gallery Essay.

The Royal Academy of Arts landmark survey of Jasper Johns work, “Something Resembling Truth”, was co-curated by Roberta Bernstein, a personal friend of Johns.  Johns has said about his work “I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don’t think that’s a painter’s business.” Morgan recently interviewed Roberta about this famously elusive artist.

“He is a complex man and his art is challenging. The understanding of a painting as a real object occupying space was so vividly conveyed [by Painting with Two Balls (1960)] and made me think about art in a new way. [Johns] is, I think, struggling with (and also fascinated by) the impossibility of fixing meaning or meanings. He’s more interested in how the mind … constructs meaning.”

‘Trigger’ Exhibition At The New Museum Tackles Gender But Ponders So Much More

Too often, art that addresses gender issues is discussed in cliché-ridden prose. No such problem here. A group of artists was invited to address gender issues, resulting in some “stunning” art and an “unmatched” survey of rising contemporary artists. Does a clear narrative emerge on this vexed topic? Not really – “any show with 40 plus artists is going to run into curatorial issues”. More images are here.