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  • Target with Plaster Casts (1978-1990) by Jasper Johns

Target with Plaster Casts (1978-1990) by Jasper Johns

Petersburg Press

Etching and Aquatint


Edition Size: 60

Image Size: 23.5 x 17.75 inches

Sheet Size: 31 x 24.5 inches

Reference: The Prints of Jasper Johns 1960-1993 with text by Richard S Field, Universal Limited Art Editions 1994, no. 251


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

Image 23.5 x 18 in. / 56.7 x 45.7 cm
Paper 31 x 24.5 in. / 78.7 × 62.2 cm

Drypoint on copper plate with existing etching and aquatint, printed in black on German Etching paper. Signed and dated ’80 & ’89 by the artist lower right in pencil; numbered 20/60 lower left in pencil. The image is printed from one of four plates forming the color etching of the same title 1978-1980. Johns worked back into the plate in drypoint, adding a new richness of surface texture and line. Published in 1990 by Petersburg Press, Target with Plaster Casts was printed at the Atelier Crommelynck in Paris.

Johns has described his most iconic motif, the target, as “something the mind already knows.” Target with Plaster Casts is simultaneously recognizable and mysterious. Here the artist has defined four concentric rings with painterly strokes of aquatint in dark grey, against intricate crosshatching in black. At the top of the composition, a row of nine boxes looks embossed. The plate itself is cut into on either side to create a slightly stepped rectangular shape, giving the impression of a Roman column. The target, too, could be a classical architectural element or the fragment of a ruin, with its stone-like texture and weighty three-dimensionality. And yet the inky, visceral shape has movement and depth: the agility of Johns’ marks evokes the circular ripples created by a pebble dropped in water.

A copy of this print is in the collection of the Broad, Los Angeles.


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The Artist

Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns, the American born Neo-Dadaist and Pop artist is often cited for his infamous series, the “Flag” and “Target.” In both groups of works his key traits are portrayed: the use of American imagery, painterly brush strokes, and repetition.

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