Reconstruction

Reconstruction

1959

Jasper Johns

(American, b. 1930)

Encaustic and collage on canvas

Framed: 154 x 114.5 x 4 cm (60 5/8 x 45 1/16 x 1 9/16 in.); Unframed: 155 x 111.7 cm (61 x 44 in.)

Purchase, Accessions Reserve Fund, and Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1973.28

Description

In the encaustic technique, pigment is suspended in wax that is heated and used as paint, but which dries quickly once it is applied to the canvas. The gesture of the artist’s hand and the strokes and drips of the brushwork are thus readily apparent. Here the technique emphasizes the artist’s working process, but it also seems like an ironic commentary on the gestural abstract painting that was common in New York when Jasper Johns created this piece. Johns also applied a piece of extra canvas to the work, folding it into the surface to create a three-part composition. The title suggests that the painting really only has meaning in the mind of the spectator, who “reconstructs” the work according to the basic vocabulary of marks and materials that the artist presents.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.