I just returned from a short trip to Chicago and luckily had enough time to hit the Art Institute before I left. Their featured show is a Jasper Johns retrospective of his gray paintings on display until January 6, 2008.
This show was fantastic. I never cared much for Johns until I saw this exhibit. It was fascinating to travel from room to room starting at the beginning of his career and ending in 2006. There were rooms full of his flags, targets, maps, numbered pieces, letters, ripped canvases, mixed media pieces, and more (more than 120 works).
I was really taken by the amount of work this man created and the passion that drives him to create. Imagine devoting a lifetime to the study of gray? Johns pushed this color to the limit and did it in such a fascinating way. To visit this show is to be in the presence of genius.
One might think that visiting a show called “Gray” on a cold grey winter day in Chicago is a downer. But in truth, it was the brightest part of my visit.
This exhibit will be at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from February 5 – May 4, 2008
Jasper Johns image from the Chicago Art Institute's Website: