Public Program

Roberta Bernstein, Jasper Johns’s Painting and Drawing: A Dialogue

In Jasper Johns’s art there has been an ongoing dialogue between painting and drawing, with imagery, in most cases, first emerging in paintings and then reconfigured in drawings. Each iteration of an image, whether on canvas, cardboard, plastic, or paper; in oil, encaustic, acrylic, graphite, ink, charcoal, or watercolor, involves a shift in the way it inhabits space and impacts perception.

Roberta Bernstein will examine selected works from The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns at the Menil Drawing Institute and discuss how they engage with related paintings. Bernstein will also illustrate how Johns’s art blurs the boundaries between painting and drawing and presents factors important to decisions about where certain works reside vis-à-vis recently published Jasper Johns catalogue raisonné.

About Roberta Bernstein
Roberta Bernstein is recognized as the foremost scholar of the art of Jasper Johns. She is author and project director of the recently published, five-volume Jasper Johns: Catalogue Raisonne of Painting and Sculpture, including the comprehensive monograph, Jasper Johns: Redo an Eye, published by the Wildenstein Plattner Institute. Bernstein served as a consultant to the catalogue raisonne of drawings published by the Menil Collection. She has written and lectured extensively on Johns and other contemporary artists, including Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Marisol Escobar. In 2017-18 she co-curated the exhibition, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in London, which traveled to the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Bernstein is professor emeritus of art history at the University at Albany, State University of New York; she received her Ph.D from Columbia University.