Jasper Johns

by Michael Crichton

Paperback, 1977




Harry N. Abrams, in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, (1977)


This extraordinary book pairs two major talents of our time, the painter/sculptor/printmaker Jasper Johns and the physician/novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton. Since it first appeared in 1977, Michael Crichton's Jasper Johns has been considered the preeminent study of one of America's foremost living artists. Abrams is proud now to publish this completely revised, expanded, and updated version of a modern classic. Jasper Johns has often been called an "artist's artist." In his use of found objects and commonplace imagery, he creates tantalizing, intellectually demanding works of unparalleled originality and uncommon beauty. His new work, with its puns, optical illusions, and embedded images ranging from George Ohr pots to the Isenheim Altarpiece to Picasso etchings, has attracted an unprecedented level of intense critical attention. Here Michael Crichton, author of The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, and Rising Sun, among other bestsellers, brings to bear his own extraordinary gifts, particularly his analytic skill and his superior abilities as narrator and storyteller. Crichton, who has known Johns and collected his work for more than twenty years, offers a dazzling succession of intimate glimpses of Johns' potent and seemingly contradictory aspects, many of them highlighted by interviews with the artist, his dealers, and distinguished contemporary critics. He also conducts a powerful, sensitive, and wide reaching critique of Johns' work - and in so doing offers an intriguing investigation into the very nature of the artistic response. Accompanying Crichton's text are 186 black-and-white illustrations, including works by Johns, photographs of him, and comparative examples. Then comes a spectacular display of 231 paintings, prints, sculptures, and drawings by Jasper Johns, ranging from his earliest pieces to his most recent works, some forty years later. Of these, 128 are reproduced in duotone and 103 in full color, including six magnificent foldout pages - the most lavish view of the artist's work ever assembled between book covers. Meticulous scholarship supports this presentation of Jasper Johns by Michael Crichton in every respect. Notes, a selected bibliography, and an index of illustrated works complete this extraordinary volume - a book for the layman, for the art specialist, and for all who love contemporary art.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member petervanbeveren
This new edition presents a completely revised, expanded and updated version of a modern classic. Jasper Johns's recent pieces, with their puns, optical illusions and embedded images have attracted considerable critical attention. Crichton, who knows Johns and has collected his work for over 20 years, here offers intimate glimpses of the artist's potent and seemingly contradictory aspects. Accompanying the text is a whole portfolio of illustrations, providing an overview of his work as painter, sculptor and printmaker. Over 200 works are reproduced, including colour and foldout reproductions.… (more)


Local notes

12pp. exhibition checklist laid in from the Whitney Museum of American Art, stapled illustrated wraps. Non-circulating
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