Between its two parts at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror” has a staggering amount of work in it. The giant two-part career survey features all the hits by the 91-year-old icon of American art—the targets, the flags, the maps—plus enough obscure works and curatorial flourishes to make it feel like an event, despite the fact that Johns has not exactly lacked for major museum attention in recent years.
In the lead-up to the show, there was some gossip, aired in Deborah Solomon’s Johns profile in the , about the museum’s two curators—the Whitney’s Scott Rothkopf and the PMA’s Carlos Basualdo—not getting along. Whatever the case may be, the two shows don’t really feel like they offer dueling visions. They work together just fine.
It’s a lot of Johns to take in when stacked together, and the full pilgrimage to both locations might not really be necessary for all but the most extreme Jasper-heads. But those who do make the trip between New York and Philly will get a fittingly Johnsian two-part experience: two different views of the same subject, with mysteriously slightly different accents and colorings.
There’s more to be said in a proper review. While the thoughts come, here are some photos of “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror.”
Whitney Museum of American Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art