PRINT May 1976




Painted pattern made its first appearance in Jasper Johns’s work in his recent exhibition at Castelli. Its introduction coincided with a new look; the innovation required a distinct shift from the kind of response previously elicited by Johns’s painting. As your reviewer noted, the exhibition called for a new critical attitude toward Johns and his production. He began bravely by linking its novelty to Matisse and “unfamiliar image units,” but soon retreated to the usual themes of Johns criticism—the dynamic sensuousness of his surfaces and the import of his motifs.

The trouble is that people—including Mr. Perrone—will go on identifying pattern with repetition—a mistake that makes the real structural novelty of this work invisible and leaves its new “feel” ungrounded. The fact of the matter is that many of the paintings in this show involve forms of repetition that we have seen

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.