Jasper Johns’ Fall is a painting from 1986 that incorporates found objects and reflective imagery into its composition. The artist’s use of a chair, cast of legs, metal letters, and coat hanger creates an assemblage effect that challenges the boundaries of traditional painting techniques.
As with much of his late career work, Johns’ biography can be seen in glimpses throughout the piece. Despite claiming that he does not want to expose his emotions through his art, elements such as crosshatched marks used in his work from 1972 to 1983 suggest otherwise. Additionally, the use of encaustic in this painting was likely due to frustration with long drying times for oil paint.
Johns’ targets are a common motif throughout his career and can also be seen in Fall. By including these shapes in his work, he challenges viewers’ assumptions about their ability to view art without being seen themselves. Overall, Fall is a complex piece that blurs the lines between traditional and non-traditional forms while offering insight into Johns’ biographical influences.