PRINT April 1969

Notes on Sculpture, Part IV: Beyond Objects


. . . on the other hand, painterly-artistic elements were cast aside, and the materials arose from the utilitarian purpose itself, as did the form.

— K. Malevich

JASPER JOHNS ESTABLISHED A NEW POSSIBILITY for art ordering. The Flags and Targets imply a lot that could not be realized in two dimensions. The works undeniably achieved a lot in their own terms. More even than in Pollock’s case, the work was looked at rather than into and painting had not done this before. Johns took painting further toward a state of non-depiction than anyone else. The Flags were not so much depictions as copies, decorative and fraudulent, rigid, stuffed, ridiculous counterfeits. That is, these works were not depictions according to past terms which had, without exception, operated within the figure-ground duality of representation. Johns took the background out of painting and isolated the thing. The background

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