NEW YORK, NY.- The Wildenstein Plattner Institute (WPI) today announced the April 2017 publication of the Catalogue Raisonné of the Painting and Sculpture of Jasper Johns, the most comprehensive resource on the artists work to date. Produced in close collaboration with the artist and developed over more than a decade, the catalogue raisonné is authored by Roberta Bernstein, pre-eminent scholar of Johnss work, who led a team of researchers including Heidi Colsman-Freyberger, Senior Researcher; Betsy Stepina Zinn, Editor; and Caitlin Sweeney, Senior Research Associate, who also oversees research projects at the WPI.
The WPI will debut its publishing imprint with the release of this publication, which was initiated and supported by Guy Wildenstein, co-founder of the WPI. Publicly launched in November 2016, the WPI is a new foundation dedicated to art historical scholarship by fostering the accessibility, cataloguing, and digitization of primary sources, including the development of catalogue raisonné projects.
Jasper Johns is among the worlds most influential living artists, who has been a pioneer in contemporary art for over six decades, said Elizabeth Gorayeb, Executive Director of the WPI. It is a privilege to debut the WPIs imprimatur with this singular publication. The impressive level of scholarship exemplified by this project signifies the quality and scope of the WPIs future initiatives, and it will continue to be our standard bearer.
For more than 60 years Jasper Johns has remained a compelling and influential figure in contemporary art. His best known and most widely influential workdepictions of everyday objects and signs such as flags, targets, flashlights, and lightbulbs, as well as his first sculptures of household objects such as Flashlights, Light Bulbs, and Ale Cansrepresented a shift in art of the 1950s by introducing subject matter that stood in contrast to the prevailing style of Abstract Expressionism. In subsequent decades, Johnss art has increasingly engaged issues of memory, mortality, love, loss, creativity, doubt, anxiety, eroticism, wonder, childhood, and aging, often incorporating references to admired artistic predecessors.
This definitive publication documents the body of painting and sculpture made by Johns from 1954 to 2014. The set is introduced by an illustrated monograph, authored by Bernstein, that surveys Johnss 60-year artistic career and represents the most comprehensive examination of the artists work to date. Volumes 2 and 3 are dedicated to Johnss 355 paintings, and the fourth volume comprises his 86 sculptures. A significant number of works have never or rarely been exhibited. Each work is thoroughly documented and illustrated with a full-page reproduction, nearly all of which are in color and were commissioned expressly for this publication. The set is bookended by a volume encompassing a biographical chronology of the artists life with photographs, record of destroyed works, comprehensive history of 900 exhibitions, literature references for each work, and a bibliography of 1,300 titles. Printed by Trifolio in Verona, Italy, and distributed by Yale University Press, the five volumes of Catalogue Raisonné of the Painting and Sculpture of Jasper Johns are boxed with a clothbound slipcase. The catalogue will be available for pre-order through Yale University Press, Ursus, and Amazon.com.
My interests as a scholar of Johnss art remain focused on describing its progressionhow it links to the past and moves into uncharted artistic territory, said Bernstein. A catalogue raisonné is the perfect vehicle to present how an artists body of work unfolds over time. I have remained fascinated with how Johnss art continues to yield an extraordinary richness of intellectual, psychological, and visual engagement when seen from this viewpoint.