Intaglio (aquatint, sugarlift, spitbite) on Bamboo natural paper
From an edition of 15
Signed and numbered
16 1/2 × 12 inches (41.9 × 30.5 cm.)
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Though often included among the luminaries of 20th century pop artists in America, Jasper Johns’ work was also counted amongst the Neo-Dadaist and abstract expressionism movements. Johns’ work utilized imagery and figures found in popular culture, however, it was their composition using unlikely materials and their juxtaposition against other what make transcend the pop aesthetic. Throughout his career, Johns held several records for ‘most expensive artworks by living artists’ at the most prestigious auction houses in the world. One of his seminal pieces, Flag, which was inspired by a dream he had in the mid 1950’s following his service in the Korean War, would inspire a series of pieces based on the American flag, and would become one his flagship works.
This limited-edition intaglio on Egyptian paper belongs to Johns’ most recent series. Featuring haunted, enigmatic and ghostly skeletons, the artist’s newest body of work is a spin on his ‘Seasons’ series from 1987, transforming the shadowy human outlines into fully X-rayed figures. Standing on what seems to be the stage of the theatre of life, Johns’ skeleton stares at us with a mortal smile. Through the use of his venerable achromic strokes and striking boldness, the premonition of death seems to be closer than ever.