The Critic Sees by Jasper Johns

The Critic Sees - Jasper Johns -

Artwork Information

TitleThe Critic Sees
ArtistJasper Johns
Art MovementNeo-Dada

About The Critic Sees

The artwork entitled “The Critic Sees” is attributed to the artist Jasper Johns, a prominent figure associated with the Neo-Dada art movement. This particular piece falls under the figurative genre, showcasing Johns’s fascination with perception and the instruments of seeing.

“The Critic Sees” by Jasper Johns presents a sculptural representation of a pair of spectacles. However, instead of lenses, the eye sockets contain what appear to be mouths, suggesting a duality between vision and speech, perhaps commenting on the role of the critic in art and society. The piece is rendered in a stark, metallic form, with the eyeglasses seeming to emerge from a roughly textured block, lending the work an industrial and austere aesthetic. The inclusion of mouths within the frames where lenses ought to be creates a jarring effect and could be interpreted as a metaphor for how critics speak about what they see, or perhaps the idea that vision can be subjective and influenced by one’s interpretations or ‘mouthpiece.’ Key to Johns’s oeuvre is the exploration of visual themes and the interrelationship between objects and their representations; “The Critic Sees” serves as a potent exemplar of this interest, as it toys with the observer’s expectations and the complex interplay between seeing, speaking, and interpreting.

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