Modern Art Monday Presents: Jasper Johns, Racing Thoughts

Racing Thoughts
Photo By Gail

Laying in the bathtub one day, Jasper Johns contemplated what he described as a series of images that ran “through my head without any connectedness that I could see.” Racing Thoughts (1983) contains elements of this scene, such as the hanging khaki pants and running faucet. It also features the subjects of John’s musings, including a puzzle-portrait of his longtime dealer, Leo Castelli, a pot by ceramicist George Ohr, a lithograph by Barnett Newman, and reproduction of the Mona Lisa — all influences on John’s artistic development.

By arranging these images in this way, seemingly affixed to the faux-wood-grain background with trompe l’oeil tape, thumbtacks and a protruding nail, he links them to his career-long preoccupation with illusionism and ambiguity. Disparate though the composition’s elements may be, they are united by a complex web of art historical and personal associations that conjure an image of the artist himself.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.

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One thought on “Modern Art Monday Presents: Jasper Johns, Racing Thoughts

  1. Pingback: Modern Art Monday Presents: Jasper Johns, Between The Clock and The Bed | The Worley Gig

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