Jasper Johns: A Retrospective by Jasper Johns 
Hardcover; 408 pages
Harry N Abrams Inc
6 pounds; 9.25 x 1.25 x 12.5 inches
Accompanying the major exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1996-97, Jasper Johns: A Retrospective contains 264 color plates illustrating Johns's work in all its facets - paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. An introductory essay by Kirk Varnedoe, the exhibition's curator, looks back through the layers of memory in Johns's recent work to review the essential themes that have engaged the artist since his epoch-making Flag and Target paintings of the mid-1950s. In the book's second essay, Roberta Bernstein analyzes a crucial tactic in Johns's art: his many methods of referring to predecessor artists ranging from Leonardo and Grunewald to Cezanne, Duchamp, and Picasso. The illustrations for Bernstein's essay include a fourteen-page section reproducing the images she discusses - a striking visual demonstration of the variety of the art that Johns's work gathers together and transforms.
Varnedoe then takes the opposite approach to Bernstein's, exploring how Johns's art has been interpreted by the artists of his and our own time: from the Pop, Minimal and Conceptual movements of the 1960s through to the new art of today, his work has proved rich enough to have a fundamentally influential impact on an extraordinarily diverse array of artists. The plates in Jasper Johns: A Retrospective are arranged in sections according to the stages of Johns's career, allowing comparison of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints from each period of his art as it has developed and changed. This comprehensive selection of reproductions is interwoven with an illustrated chronology tracing Johns's life and work with unprecedented accuracy and thoroughness.