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Making Sense of Jasper Johns
Does it mean anything? In a review of 1962, critic Leo Steinberg repeatedly asked this question of Jasper Johns's work. Across his almost 70-year career, Johns's work in painting, sculpture, and assemblage has often overwhelmed critics with ambiguity because his references are either so literal, so personal, or simply rendered opaque. Yet his celebrated legacy has also pressed critics, artists, and viewers alike to imagine other ways of sensing the artwork's meaning and value. In this way, Johns's work resonates with contemporary artworks that get us to question and reframe taken-for-granted elements of our everyday life. This course—held in conjunction with Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror (September 29, 2021—February 13, 2022)—will give participants a comprehensive look at Johns's career, while placing his work in conversation with his contemporary artists who are both indebted and building upon Johns's ongoing legacy.
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