Jasper Johns
Land's End, 1963

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Land's End
Artist name
Jasper Johns
Date created
oil on canvas and wood
67 in. × 48 1/4 in. (170.18 cm × 122.56 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson
© Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York, NY
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

Take a journey into Land’s End

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SFX: Waves crashing on shore. Foghorn in the distance.



At the time Jasper Johns made this painting, he said: “I had the sense of arriving at a point where there was no place to stand.” He called it Land’s End.


SFX: Ocean waves crashing on shore below us, as if we are standing on a cliff looking out to sea



He named it after a poem by Hart Crane, who wrote a lot about the sea. The gray tones, washing over the painting in thick brushstrokes, and thin, fluid drips, have the feeling of a dark and roiling ocean.


SFX: OCEANIC SOUND BED which rises and becomes more complex, slowly turns into something less recognizable, evoking a sense of being subsumed by the ocean



That imprint of a hand you see on the canvas? That’s his.



I think one of the most immediate things about the experience of looking at Land’s End is a sense of slipping.



That’s curator Gary Garrels.



The colors are slipping; the letters are slipping and sliding—they’re falling.


SFX: The water rises, evoking a sense of being subsumed by the ocean, being pulled under, bubbles, whooshes, a single note of music to change the focus to a more interior dimension


SFX: Slow fade on underwater sounds

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