The Role and the Nature of Repetition in Jasper Johns’s Paintings in the Context of Postwar American Art

  • From the beginning of his artistic career, American artist Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has used various repetitive means in his paintings. Their significance in his work has not been sufficiently discussed; hence this thesis is an exploration of the role and the nature of repetition in Johns’s paintings, which is essential to better understand his artistic production. Following a thorough review of his paintings, it is possible to broadly classify his use of repetition into three types: repeating images and gestures, using the logic of printing, and quoting and returning to past artists. I examine each of these in relation to three major art theory elements: abstraction, autonomy, and originality. When Johns repeats images and gestures, he also reconsiders abstraction in painting; using the logic of printing enables him to follow the logic of another medium and to challenge the autonomy of painting; by quoting other artists, Johns is reexamining originality in painting. These types of repetition are distinct in their features but complementary in their mission to expand the boundaries of painting. The proposed classification system enables a better understanding of the role and the nature of repetition in the specific case of Johns’s paintings, and it enriches our understanding of the use of repetition and its perception in art in general.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Ela Krieger
Referee:Isabel Wünsche, Paul Crowther, Julia Timpe
Advisor:Isabel Wünsche
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1008765
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2019/06/05
Date of First Publication:2019/09/10
Academic Department:Social Sciences & Humanities
PhD Degree:History and Theory of Art
Focus Area:Diversity
Other Countries Involved:Slovenia
Call No:2019/13

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