jasper - 1 Just a Gray Square? Jasper Johns The Drawer...

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Just a Gray Square? Jasper Johns The Drawer Rebecca Ney FA 74 Jaspers Johns’  Drawer 1957,  currently featured in The Rose’s “Invisible Rays:  The Surrealism Legacy” exhibit, displays an ostensibly straightforward piece. Placed in  between Robert Rauschenberg’s 1961  Second Time Painting  and Max Ernst’s  The Mask this piece is purposefully placed in relation to its surroundings. These surroundings are  unlike any other surrealism exhibit, as I have repeatedly heard echoed from guests. There  are leaves covering the ground and the lights are completely dimmed with only a few  sparse hanging light bulbs. Standing in front of John’s work, my feet are covered by piles  of leaves and I have to squint in order to see the artwork. This atmosphere inspires the  piece to change as the level of the leaves and the lightness is different each time. Johns’  piece, however, remains consistent in its center location on a white wall in the middle of  the exhibition. The mood and location add texture to his work, as I am aware of where  and how I am standing and the exercising and straining of my eyes. Flashlights are  offered, and in holding one I am further able to control my experience in creating  shadows and focusing on certain parts of the piece. This piece becomes an entirely 
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ARTH 109 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UPenn.

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jasper - 1 Just a Gray Square? Jasper Johns The Drawer...

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