Between the Clock and the Bed, 1981 by Jasper Johns

Edvard Munch, an artist whose expressively personal canvases seem distant from those by Johns, nevertheless provided him with the subject for the painting of 1981 entitied Between the Clock and the Bed. Johns had been struck by the coincidence between the quilting on the bed in Munch's self-portrait of the same title and his own crosshatchings.

Munch's work shows the artist standing in a room, between a faceless clock (time) and bed (death/sleep), with his studio full of paintings behind him. It is not an image of self-pity, but it is desperate nevertheless. Johns took the hatched form of the figures from Weeping Women and offered an abstracted version of Munch's image, which suggests a similar desperation. Between the Clock and the Bed has the same complex relationship to Munch's picture that Weeping Women did to that of Picasso.