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SUArt Galleries presents ‘Impressions: Jasper Johns’
SUArt Galleries presents ‘Impressions: Jasper Johns’December 06, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 18, SUArt Galleries will host prints by one of the leading artists of the 20th century. “Impressions: Jasper Johns” is a retrospective of graphic work by the artist that continues through Feb. 3, 2008.
The exhibition consists of more than 60 prints from the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation that span more than four decades of work. Included in the show are Johns’ first two experiments in printmaking, “Target” and “0 Through 9,” both from 1960.
Johns may best be known for his images of the American flag. Painted versions were first produced in the mid-1950s, at the height of Abstract Expressionism, a period in art that rejected recognizable subjects. Johns burst upon the art scene in 1958 with a breakthrough exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery, which included paintings of targets, flags, numbers and letters of the alphabet. This show led to the purchase of three paintings by the Museum of Modern Art and coincided with a cover on the magazine Artnews. In recent years, Johns’ work has continually set auction house records for highest prices paid for work by a living artist.
Johns always downplayed the importance of subject matter in his work and instead emphasized the techniques and processes associated with making art. He had already achieved critical success in painting and sculpture when he was introduced to the field of lithography in 1960. The process was in the midst of its own revival when Johns entered the field. Beginning with “0 Through 9,” he experimented with the limits of printmaking and within a few years acquired the reputation of a master printer.
Many of the prints featured in the exhibition are based on previous paintings or sculptures. While this allows one to view the span of Johns’ work, it also allows the viewer to witness the changes in style he has incorporated over the years. In the 1980s, Johns’ work altered significantly when he created collage-like paintings and prints that incorporated personal and art historical references. “The Seasons (Summer)” from 1987 includes references to Johns’ own artwork, along with that of Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci and George Orr.
The SUArt Galleries are located in the Shaffer Art Building and are open to the public Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., as well as extended hours Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. Weekend and evening visitors can park in the Q4 lot on College Place; drivers should notify the attendant that they are visiting the galleries and then will be directed where to park. Parking is based on availability and may be restricted during events held at the Carrier Dome. If spaces aren’t available, the parking attendant will direct drivers to the nearest lot.