The Easel

The Fateful Attraction of Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch

Curatorial brows furrowed when it was realized that Jasper Johns had referenced Edvard Munch in his own work. Any such linkage seemed unlikely given their disparate styles. A resultant exhibition tries to show that, when the AIDS crisis was at its height, Munch may have helped inspire a “sea change” in Johns’ work. But all this analysis and conjecture only goes so far: the link, admits the writer, remains “fraught with ambiguity.”