Jasper Johns, Target, 1958, oil and collage on canvas, 36 x 36".


“Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955–1965”

Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart
St. Alban-Rheinweg 60
June 2–September 9, 2007

National Gallery of Art
Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
January 28–April 29, 2007

Curated by Jeffrey Weiss

This exhibition is not a complete survey of that fecund decade it claims to present, concentrating instead on four themes—targets, mechanical devices, stenciled names of colors, and body imprints—through eighty-four works and a catalogue with essays by curator Jeffrey Weiss, John Elderfield, and others. But that should be enough to show that Johns’s oeuvre was the hat out of which the zeitgeist pulled innumerable rabbits: Pop, Minimal, and Conceptual art are but a few of the currents of the 1960s and ’70s that would have been unthinkable without his systematic deconstruction of painting. But will the show’s sponsorship by Target render his work a mere logo? Let’s hope the “interference to meaning” Johns was once praised for still holds up. Travels to the Kunstmuseum Basel June 2–Sept. 9.