new-york

Jasper Johns

Leo Castelli Gallery

The standard line on Jasper Johns’ work of the last decade is that it is more personal—at last the artist reveals himself. As Johns admits, the seeming elision of subjectivity that informed his great early works finally became too hard an act to keep up. In an interview from 1978 he explained, “In my early work I tried to hide my personality, my psychological state, my emotions. This was partly due to my feelings about myself and partly due to my feelings about painting at the time. I sort of stuck to my guns for a while but eventually it seemed like a losing battle. Finally one must simply drop the reserve. I think some of the changes in my work relate to that.” The intersection of Johns’ feelings about himself and his “feelings about painting at the time” is one of those mysteries that ought to remain one, but undoubtedly future art historians obsessed with the dissemination of proper

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