Essay by Scott Rothkopf
Johns is universally admired as one of the world's greatest living artists, and his presentation of a new body of work is a rare occasion and cause for celebration. This volume reproduces for the first time the complete series of magnificent works Johns made after completing the installation of his 1996 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, when Johns retreated to his studio in Connecticut to wipe the slate clean, beginning a body of work that was a dramatic departure from anything he had made before. The first painting in this new series includes a string hanging from upper right to lower left, generating a curve called a catenary, and this curve became the compositional backbone of the entire series. Johns produced a total of 61 paintings, drawings, and prints based on the catenary, all of which are reproduced in this volume. The work is saturated with autobiographical references, both transparent and opaque, yet contains multiple layers of meaning. Sensual surfaces, fragile constructions, and formal rigor meet allusions to key moments in the history of modern art and motifs from Johns's earlier work. The poetry of Johns's catenary series is explored in an illustrated essay by scholar Scott Rothkopf, published alongside the catalogue's 51 color plates.
Published by steidl|mm
121 pages. 51 color plates. 30 color text illustrations
10 x 12 inches; 25.5 x 30.5 cm