Summer (1985) by Jasper Johns

Summer - Jasper Johns - 1985

Artwork Information

ArtistJasper Johns
Dimensions190.5 x 127 cm (75 x 50")
Art MovementNeo-Dada

About Summer

The artwork entitled “Summer” is a creation by the artist Jasper Johns, dating from the year 1985. This piece is executed in the medium of encaustic on canvas and exemplifies the Neo-Dada art movement. The dimensions of the artwork are substantial, measuring 190.5 by 127 centimeters (75 by 50 inches). “Summer” is characterized both as a self-portrait and a symbolic painting, suggesting a deeply personal and emblematic depiction conjured by the artist.

In the artwork, a shadowy figure dominates the left portion, rendered in a monochromatic, somber hue that flatly contrasts with the vibrant, detailed elements to its right. The fragmented nature of the composition is indicative of Johns’s style, where the self-portrait, though central, is depicted as an elusive silhouette, suggesting a contemplation on identity or existence itself. The right-hand side boasts an intricate array of symbols, including what appears to be the American flag, a pattern of stars, and additional iconography that seems to invite introspection about cultural and national identity. Objects such as the tattered flag, a three-dimensional spoon, and searingly bright items such as the “string of pearls” underpin this deeply symbolic and complex tableau.

The blend of textures and materials in the artwork resonates with the Neo-Dada movement’s penchant for challenging traditional aesthetics and notions of art. Johns’s use of encaustic, an ancient method involving wax, adds a tactile depth to the surface, bringing forth a physicality that is both visually arresting and conceptually rich. The juxtaposition of symbolism, the obscured self-portrait, and the invocation of seasonal warmth through the title “Summer” amalgamate into an intricate dialogue between the viewer and the canvas, characteristic of Johns’s oeuvre.

Other Artwork from Jasper Johns

More Neo-Dada Artwork

Scroll to Top