Jasper Johns: Regrets

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In June 2012, Jasper Johns encountered a photograph of the painter Lucian Freud reproduced in a Christies auction catalogue. Inspired not only by the photographic image, but also by the physical qualities of the object itself, Johns took this motif through a succession of cross-medium permutations. He also incorporated into his art the text of a rubber stamp he had made several years ago, to allow him to efficiently decline the myriad requests and invitations that come his way: Regrets/Jasper Johns. But the stamps text also calls to mind the more familiar connotations of regret, such as loss, disappointment, and remorse, invoking an enigmatic sense of melancholy. Published in conjunction with an exhibition of this recent series of paintings, drawings and prints, created over the last year and a half through an intricate combination of techniques, this publication presents each of the sixteen new works in full colour. An essay by Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Christophe Cherix, Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints, MoMA, examine the importance of process and experimentation, the cycle of dead ends and fresh starts, and the incessant interplay of materials, meaning, and representation so characteristic of Johnss career over the last sixty years.