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Accompanying an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (showing through April 29, 2007, and then traveling to the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland), this beautiful catalog (80 halftones; 180 color), featuring many previously unpublished archival photographs and artworks, serves as the only publication to examine the work of the painter, sculptor, and printmaker Jasper Johns during the pivotal years of his career. From 1955 to 1965, Johns explored the condition of painting as a medium, practice, and instrument when abstract expressionism called into question traditional paradigms related to painting, pictorial space, and the representation of the human figure. In the main essay, exhibition curator Weiss sets forth his analysis of major motifs in Johns's work. The essays that follow provide deeper insights into the artist's creative processes, intentions, and meanings. There is an exploration of the influence of Paul Cézanne and a detailed discussion of Johns's masterpiece Diver (1962). Not a survey for beginners, this sufficiently well-documented, expertly crafted, thoughtful, reasonably comprehensive, and highly focused study belongs in most research-oriented art book collections.
—Cheryl Ann Lajos