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Corpse and Mirror, 1976, Silkscreen from 36 screens on Nishinouchi Kizuki Kozo paper, 37 1/2 x 50 inches (95.3 x 127 cm), Edition of 65

Corpse and Mirror,

1976
Silkscreen from 36 screens on Nishinouchi Kizuki Kozo paper
37 1/2 x 50 inches (95.3 x 127 cm)
Edition of 65
Corpse and Mirror is widely considered one of Jasper Johns’ most important achievements in printmaking.

In this work, Johns uses crosshatching
to create complex visual system that challenges his audience to an unusual exercise of optical gymnastics upon viewing the finished product. According to the artist, his inspiration for his crosshatched works came from a glimpse at a passing car on a Long Island highway. “I only saw it for a second, but knew immediately that I was going to use it. It had all the qualities that interest me — literalness, repetitiveness, an obsessive quality, order with dumbness, and the possibility of a complete lack of meaning.”

The title of this work refers to Cadavre Exquis — a Surrealist take on an old parlour game, in which players take turns drawing on a piece of paper that they fold before passing it to the next person, such that each subsequent player is completing a drawing that they cannot see. This process results in a visually connected — if not illogical — image. Johns’ work, made of two panels, is split in the middle, with the right panels mirroring the left, albeit slightly blurred. The imprint of a can marks the surface of the upper right-hand panel.
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Corpse and Mirror, 1976, Silkscreen from 36 screens on Nishinouchi Kizuki Kozo paper, 37 1/2 x 50 inches (95.3 x 127 cm), Edition of 65
Corpse and Mirror, 1976
Silkscreen from 36 screens on Nishinouchi Kizuki Kozo paper
37 1/2 x 50 inches (95.3 x 127 cm)
Edition of 65
Corpse and Mirror Framed
Corpse and Mirror for scale
Corpse and Mirror, 1976
Silkscreen from 36 screens on Nishinouchi Kizuki Kozo paper
37 1/2 x 50 inches (95.3 x 127 cm)
Edition of 65