From: The Art Institute of Chicago Limited Edition: 14 Exhibition: Jasper Johns: Gray Material: Printed vinyl Dimensions: 30" x 99" (76cm x 251cm)
Hanging Hardware Included
The exhibition "Jasper Johns: Gray" was one of the first to explore this fascinating period of Johns's work. Bringing together some 120 works in various media, the exhibition showed that even with a dearth of color, artistry and beauty can be achieved.14 banners from the exhibition's run at The Art Institute of Chicago are now available featuring his 1963 painting "Periscope (Hart Crane)".
Working in shades of gray was an important thematic and visual thread in the work of Jasper Johns starting in the mid-1950s and extending throughout his career. His fascination with color, and lack thereof, is found in the 1963 painting Periscope (Hart Crane) which is featured on this banner. Using a palette limited to white, black, and grays he stencils the names of other colors upon them to imply color without actually applying those colors.
Johns also used a number of other motifs throughout his career, and several of these are found in the painting. His interest in rotation and movement is symbolized by the round target. His exploration of body imprints is seen by the paint-stamped imprint of his hand extending from the circle.
In this particular work, the outstretched hand and forearm may also refer to the dramatic suicide drowning of the American poet Hart Crane, as referenced in the work’s title. Crane was troubled by his homosexuality, and ultimately his drinking and depression led him to jump into the Gulf of Mexico when he was just 32. But despite his short career his modernist poetry has proven influential. In his poem Interior Crane wrote:
It sheds a shy solemnity, This lamp in our poor room. O grey and gold amenity, Silence and gentle gloom!
Below the image on the banner, white and gray text on a blue background reads "Jasper Johns/Gray/The Art Institute of Chicago" and includes the dates of the exhibition "November 3 - January 6". Both sides of this banner are identical. Another banner from the exhibition features Johns’s 1961 drawing 0 through 9