The Belvedere announces Jasper Johns: Regrets, an exhibition of new work by Jasper Johns (American, b. 1930). Having emerged as a leading voice in American art in the late-1950s with paintings of iconic motifs such as flags, targets, and numbers, Johns has since developed a body of work of extraordinary narrative complexity and technical virtuosity. During his career, Johns has created some of the most important and compelling works of modern times. This exhibition premieres the artist’s most recent body of work, developed over the last year and a half, and includes approximately 30 objects: two paintings, as well as drawings and prints.
This series introduces a new addition to John’s personal iconography: the image of the young artist Lucian Freud perched on a bed, one arm raised to obscure his face in an introspective gesture. The photograph, part of a series taken around 1964 by the British photographer John Deakin, was commissioned and used by Francis Bacon as source material for his own paintings.
The Regrets series takes the image of Freud through a succession of cross-medium permutations, including small pencil sketches, a set of four ink-on-plastic drawings, and two prints, each presented along with a variety of preliminary states. A large-scale watercolour, also titled Regrets, obscures the image nearly into abstraction, exploring the theme in yet another way. This series lays bare 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 Johns’s career over the last 60 years. This is a significant opportunity to see one of his most important series of contemporary works.
Jasper Johns: Regrets is organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints, and Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Ingrid Langston, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA. The Belvedere is the third iteration of Jasper Johns: Regrets – parts of it were presented at the Courtauld Gallery in London - and is the first major solo exhibition in Vienna since his retrospective of prints at the Vienna Secession in 1987.
This exhibition is based upon one originally organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York