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Jasper Johns (American, b.1930)
LOT ID: 67012
Fragment According to What? Bent Blue (Second State), 1971

Lithograph, Newspaper Transfer Monotype
25.25 х 28.75 х 1 in. (64.14 x 73.03 x 2.54 cm.)
Signed, stamped, and dated in purple crayon pencil, lower right
numbered in purple crayon pencil, lower left
LEO CASTELLI Graphics blindstamp lower right recto
GEMINI GEL blindstamp lower right recto
original CASTELLI GRAPHICS label verso
Galerie Kajforsblom, Finland label verso
David Tunick, Inc. label verso
Print/Casting Year 1971
Edition 66
Foundry/Publisher Castelli Graphics, Gemini Gel
Lot description
Rarely available, "Fragment According to What? Bent Blue (Second State)" is one of the most significant and interesting Jasper Johns prints ever created. It is one of the series of famous "Fragments" prints inspired by Johns 16 foot 1964 chef d'oeuvre "According to What", which historians have called one of the most pivotal and disturbing works of his entire career.

This large color lithograph with newspaper transfer monotype on Arches paper was created in 1971 -the most desirable era - and is the subject of an entire chapter of a book entitled "On Being Bent Blue: Second State: An introduction to Jacques Derrida/A Footnote on Jasper Johns" by Fred Orton. It is also featured in the widely read essay "Erasure in Art: Destruction, Deconstruction and Palimpsest", by Richard Gilpin, February, 1998, who writes, "In an interview, Johns discusses his reasons for crossing out part of Bent Blue (Second State), 1971,. He says:
'In a sense it is to say it is of no importance, because in Bent "Blue", that area is constantly changing, so it's not too important what's there. But obviously it's of great importance what's there because that is what's there. But it could be anything else - that or the next image.' (Coplans, 1972, p.32)" It has inevitably, inspired comparisons to Marcel Duchamp

This particular edition of "Bent Blue" (Second State) is beautifully framed with the original Gallery frame and has superb provenance. It bears the label of legendary Castelli Graphic, as well as labels from the renowned Galerie Kajforsblom and David Tunick Fine Art. In fine condition.

This classic Jasper Johns work, published in a limited edition of only 66, is rarely to market as many of the other editions are in the permanent collection of major museums worldwide such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Phillips Collection and LACMA.

This work is fully referenced in the Prints of Jasper Johns 1960-1993. A Catalogue Raisonné, Richard S. Field, as well as The Prints of Jasper Johns: A Catalogue Raisonne, 1960-1999 by Universal Limited Art Editions

Jasper Johns, born in 1930, is one of the last of the living Pop Art legends. His work is often described as Neo-Dadaist, though he is often considered within the Pop Art and Abstract Expressionist movements. Johns studied at the University of South Carolina and briefly at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. In New York, Johns met long time friends Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham and John Cage, with whom he explored the contemporary art scene. Johns’ subject matter often includes images and objects from popular culture including the classical iconography of everyday symbols, such as: flags, maps, targets, letters and numbers. His style is lush and painterly, and he is famous for incorporating such media into his surfaces as encaustic and wax-based paint and plaster relief. His work plays with presented opposites, contradictions, paradoxes, and ironies much like Marcel Duchamp. Johns also produces intaglio prints, sculptures and lithographs with similar subject themes. In 2007, the National Gallery in Washington D.C. held a retrospective of his work entitled “Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting 1955-65.” Other major museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York have held solo exhibitions of his work in recent years.
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