Look, Look Again

Critical encounters with Jasper Johns

Cover of Artforum’s February 1973 issue, featuring Jasper Johns’s The Critic Sees, 1961.

FOR ALMOST AS LONG as Artforum has been in circulation, its critics have wrestled with Jasper Johns’s startlingly inventive, thrillingly enigmatic body of work. This month, we have compiled a selection of those encounters—spanning generations and frames of reference—ranging from legendary curator Walter Hopps’s interview with the then-young artist coinciding with his survey at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1965 to Anne Wagner’s brilliant elucidation of the epochal Flag, 1954–55, written in the waning years of the Bush administration. Accompanying these pieces, too, is a rare text written by Johns himself: an obituary for Marcel Duchamp, published in Artforum in 1968. On the occasion of a major Johns retrospective on view at the New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the following pieces will be free to access throughout October.

March 1965: Walter Hopps interviews Jasper Johns

November 1967: Max Kozloff on Jasper Johns’s colors, maps, and devices

November 1968: Jasper Johns on Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) 

March and September, 1970: Barbara Rose on the graphic work of Jasper Johns, Part I and Part II

October 1977: Rolf-Dieter Herrmann on Jasper John’s worldview

March 1994: Wayne Koestenbaum on Jasper Johns, Frank O’Hara, and finding desire

September 1996: Rosalind Krauss and Christopher Knight review Jasper Johns’s first Whitney retrospective

January 1998: John Elderfield on Jasper Johns’s Diver, 1963

November 2006: Anne M. Wagner revisits Jasper Johns’s Flag, 1954–55