Jasper Johns. Target with Four Faces. 1955

Jasper Johns Target with Four Faces 1955

  • Not on view

For Johns the common shooting target is one of the many "things the mind already knows." Using familiar objects "gives me room to work on other levels," he has explained. Though the target is closely linked with the acts of looking and aiming, the concentric circles of Johns's version are obscured and the surface made tactile with encaustic—pigment mixed with beeswax—on collage. Mounted above the target, four plaster casts taken from a single model over a period of several months are arranged in nonsequential order. A hinged wooden lid offers the option of shutting away the small niches that hold these cropped, eyeless faces.

Gallery label from 2009
Encaustic on newspaper and cloth over canvas surmounted by four tinted-plaster faces in wood box with hinged front
Overall, with box open, 33 5/8 x 26 x 3" (85.3 x 66 x 7.6 cm); canvas 26 x 26" (66 x 66 cm); box (closed) 3 3/4 x 26 x 3 1/2" (9.5 x 66 x 8.8 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull
Object number
© 2018 Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We used machine learning to identify this work in photos from our exhibition history.