Nine Tantric Amulets for Jasper Johns

  • William Harper, Nine Tantric Amulets for Jasper Johns, 1994, gold cloisonne enamel on fine silver with 24, 22, 18, and 14k gold, pearls, garnets, tourmaline, and peridot, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1994, William Harper, Gift of Frances and Sydney Lewis, 2002.11

Luce Center Label

Artists often borrow from each other, and each time they do they contribute to the deep history of an idea or piece. This necklace is from a series called Jasper’s Variations---a tribute to contemporary painter Jasper Johns. William Harper borrows the crosshatched pattern in the center medallion from Johns’s Between the Clock and the Bed (1981), which itself was inspired by a 1940-42 self-portrait by Edvard Munch with the same title.

The various charms are based on Hindu or Buddhist tantric scriptures, which deal with meditation, sexual techniques, and other rituals. Harper emphasizes the creative bond he feels with Johns by incorporating their names, side by side, in the center of this piece.

Title
Nine Tantric Amulets for Jasper Johns
Artist
Date
1994
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
length: 24 in. (61 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Frances and Sydney Lewis

Mediums Description
gold cloisonne enamel on fine silver with 24, 22, 18, and 14k gold, pearls, garnets, tourmaline, and peridot
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure – fragment – hand
  • Animal – insect – butterfly
  • Figure – fragment – skull
  • Homage – Johns, Jasper
Object Number
2002.11
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

More Artworks from the Collection