(American, b. 1930)
Encaustic and collage on canvas
Framed: 89.2 x 143.8 x 4.5 cm (35 1/8 x 56 5/8 x 1 3/4 in.); Unframed: 86.4 x 45.7 cm (34 x 18 in.)
© Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1993.109
Although the work may initially seem randomly designed, it is quite precisely ordered. The three panels are divided into 27 rectangular subsections.
Usuyuki is a Japanese word meaning thin or light snow and, indeed, the painting's subtle colors and intricate patterns, with their suggestions of movement, recall the drift of falling snowflakes. Johns's method of painting at this time involved cutting strips of newspaper and covering them with a mixture of pigment and beeswax, called encaustic. After applying this mixture to the canvas, Johns pressed circular and rectangular cans into the surface to create visible imprints throughout the image.
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