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Jasper Master

The secret weapon behind the success of Jasper Johns



“I’ve always been in the background,” says John Lund, who has been making prints with iconic American artist Jasper Johns for four decades. “I think of myself as a facilitator, applying technique to realize his vision.” Lund has lived on Johns’ property since shortly after Johns bought the Sharon, Connecticut, estate in 1995. The printmaker helped the artist design the print studio adjacent to his painting studio in a former horse stable. “Painting and printmaking function off each other,” says Lund. “The work has a back and forth conversation.” John and his wife Christina, a teacher who works with dyslexics, have two grown sons, one of whom followed his father’s path to be a printer and painter in London, and the other works for an NGO in Fiji but is starting graduate school in Copenhagen in crisis management, “a growth industry,” Lund deadpans.

Lund grew up in Minnesota—the son of a scientist and attended St. Olaf’s College as a pre-med student but transferred to University of Minnesota when he realized he was spending more time in the studio than the laboratory. Lund went straight from college to

New York and found work at the prestigious Universal Limit Artist Editions (ULAE) on Long Island. “I stopped making my own prints at about 22,” Lund says, “when I started working with my visual heroes, artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Johns. It was kind of intimidating.”

In a 2005 interview with Elizabeth DeRose republished in March, Lund explains, “I think I went into printmaking for the same reason that I ran hurdles in high school. I wasn’t the fastest in the straightaways, but if you gave me a problem, I could get over it quicker than most.” Hurdling is an apt metaphor to printmaking because both are difficult and technical, demanding both exacting skill and practice. 

Together Lund and Johns have made over 70 editions—each final edition can have over a hundred proofs that tell the story of how the artist gets to the final version. “Once, we got to a point when it was so simplified that we thought the next step would be potato prints like in preschool,” says Lund. 

The pair archive all these proofs. “Each proof informs the next one on the journey to the final print,” says Ellen Keiter, director of exhibitions at the Katonah Museum of Art, where Johns’ and Lund’s works are on exhibition. “It’s quite unusual in the print world for a contemporary artist to have a dedicated printer maker. A printmaker is part chemist, part mathematician. It’s about testing. Almost like being in a laboratory. John is a master printer.”

Lund says that over decades working with Johns, he has come to have an “instinctual feel for the intention of the artist.” Because he lives on Johns’ property and works full-time, he and the artist can be more experimental—trying out something. Then trying out something else. Lund quotes Johns’ famous sketchbook quote: “Take an object. Do something, do something to it, and then do something to that,” as particularly apropos of printmaking and their simultaneously creatively loose and technically tight approach in the studio. 

Johns is famously reclusive but Lund says that he has a rich life in Sharon. “He has friends. He’s very close with nature. He’s an avid cook, mushroomer, and gardener.” 

 

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September 2018

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

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Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
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Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
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Cost: Free to audition

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Pleasantville Presbyterian Church
400 Bedford Rd
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Sponsor: Hudson Chorale
Telephone: 914-478-0074
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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


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Saint Andrew’s Golf Club
10 Old Jackson Ave
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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Department of Social Services
112 E Post Road
White Plains, NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914-997-6700
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More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

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Whitby Castle
330 Boston Post Rd
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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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633 Old Post Rd.
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Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $25

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Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
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More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Legendary journalist Lesley Stahl will lead a special one-on-one event with former sex-crimes prosecutor turned BEST – SELLING crime novelist, Linda Fairstein. From the unsolved cases that keep...

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633 Old Post Rd.
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Take a one-hour guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst mansion overlooking the Hudson River. The Gothic Revival mansion has been used as a movie set for six major motion pictures...

Cost: $18

Where:
Lyndhurst
635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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The 58th annual Lewisboro Library Fair is Saturday, September 22 from 10 am to 4 pm at Onatru Farm Town Park (99 Elmwood Road in South Salem). The Fair features huge Book, “Attic Treasures”...

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