Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns

Infobox Artist
bgcolour = #6495ED
name = Jasper Johns

imagesize = 250px
caption = "Flag," Encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood,1954-55
birthname =
birthdate = 1930
location = Augusta, Georgia
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = American
field = Painting, Printmaking
training =
movement = Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art
works = "Flag," "Numbers," "Map," "stenciled words"
patrons =
influenced by =
influenced = Pop Art
awards =

Jasper Johns, Jr. (born May 15, 1930 in Augusta, Georgia) is a contemporary American artist who primarily works in painting and printmaking. He is represented by the Matthew Marks Gallery.

Early life

Jasper Johns grew up in Allendale, South Carolina, and recounting this period in his life, he says, "In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in."

Johns studied at the University of South Carolina from 1947 to 1948, a total of three semesters. [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/john/hd_john.htm "Jasper Johns (born 1930)"] ; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York] He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at Parsons School of Design in 1949. While in New York, Johns met Robert Rauschenberg, with whom he had a relationship, [ [http://www.365gay.com/Newscon08/05/051308obit.htm 365gay.com. "Pop Artist Robert Rauschenberg Dies." My 13, 2008. Accessed May 13, 2008.] ] as well as Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Working together they explored the contemporary art scene, and began developing their ideas on art. In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Sendai, Japan during the Korean War.

In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli discovered Johns while visiting Robert Rauschenberg's studio.

Johns currently lives in Sharon, Connecticut.Fact|date=April 2007


He is best known for his painting "Flag" (1954-55), which he painted after having a dream of the American flag. His work is often described as a 'Neo-Dadaist', as opposed to pop art, even though his subject matter often includes images and objects from popular culture. Still, many compilations on pop art include Jasper Johns as a pop artist because of his artistic use of classical iconography.Early works were composed using simple schema such as flags, maps, targets, letters and numbers. Johns' treatment of the surface is often lush and painterly; he is famous for incorporating such media as Encaustic (wax-based paint), and plaster relief in his paintings. Johns played with and presented opposites, contradictions, paradoxes, and ironies, much like Marcel Duchamp (who was associated with the Dada movement). Johns also produces intaglio prints, sculptures and lithographs with similar motifs.

Johns' breakthrough move, which was to inform much later work by others, was to appropriate popular iconography for painting, thus allowing a set of familiar associations to answer the need for subject. Though the Abstract Expressionists disdained subject matter, in the end it could be said that they simply changed subjects. Johns neutralized the subject, so that something like pure paint--painted surface--could declare itself. For twenty years after Johns painted "Flag," the surface--in Andy Warhol's silkscreens or Robert Irwin's illuminated ambiances--could suffice.

In contrast to the concept of macho 'artist hero' as ascribed to Abstract Expressionist figures such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, whose paintings are fully indexical (that is, standing effectively as an all-over canvas signature), "Neo-Dadaists" like Johns and Robert Rauschenberg seem preoccupied with a lessening of the reliance of their art on indexical qualities, seeking instead to create meaning solely through the use of conventional symbols, painted indexically in what some have interpreted as a rebuttal of the hallowed individuality of the Abstract Expressionists. There is also the issue of symbols existing outside of any referential context; Johns' flag, for instance, is primarily a visual object, divorced from its symbolic connotations and reduced to something in-itself.

In 1998, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought Johns' "White Flag". While the Met would not disclose what it paid, "experts estimate [the painting's] value at more than $20 million." [cite news | first=Carol | last=Vogel | coauthors= | title=Met Buys Its First Painting by Jasper Johns | date= October 29, 1998
publisher=New York Times | url =http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E07E6D6113CF93AA15753C1A96E958260 | work =New York Times | pages = | accessdate = 2008-02-28| language =

In 2006, private collectors Anne and Kenneth Griffin (founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel Investment Group) bought Johns' "False Start" for $80 million, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist. [cite news | first=Carol | last=Vogel | coauthors= | title=The Gray Areas of Jasper Johns | date= | publisher= | url =http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/arts/design/03voge.html?ref=arts | work =New York Times | pages = | accessdate = 2008-02-03 | language = ]

The National Gallery of Art acquired about 1,700 of Johns’ proofs in 2007. This made the gallery home to the largest amount of Jasper Johns’ works. The exhibition showed works from many points in Johns’ career including recent proofs of his prints. [citation | title= National Gallery to Get Jasper Johns Prints | author=Brett Zongker | publisher=The Associated Press | year=2007 | date= March 6, 2007| url=http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/24455/national-gallery-to-get-jasper-johns-prints/ | accessdate=2008-04-16 ]

Other work

* White Flag (1955) [ [http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Art/viewOne.asp?dep=21&item=1998.329 "Works of Art: Modern Art"] Metropolitan Museum of Art, online June 15, 2007]
* False Start (1959)
* Study for Skin (1962)
* Figure Five (1963-64)
* Seasons (1986)
* Three Flags (1958)

In the spring of 2008, a ten-year retrospective of Johns' drawings was mounted at New York City's Matthew Marks Gallery.


Jasper Johns once guest-starred on "The Simpsons" as himself. In the episode "Mom and Pop Art", Homer Simpson accidentally becomes an artist, and Johns attends one of his exhibitions. Johns is portrayed as a kleptomaniac, stealing items of food, lightbulbs, a motor boat, and a painting Marge is working on.


*Busch, Julia M., [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/ow/4ed0b0bd878eaf2a.html "A Decade of Sculpture: the New Media in the 1960s"] (The Art Alliance Press: Philadelphia; [http://www.aupresses.com/ Associated University Presses] : London, 1974) ISBN 0-87982-007-1

External links

* [http://www.matthewmarks.com/index.php?n=1&a=147&im=1 Jasper Johns at the Matthew Marks Gallery]
* [http://www.vaga.org VAGA - To clear rights to reproduce works by Johns]
* [http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2007/johns/index.shtm Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955–1965, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC]
* [http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2007/jasper/index.shtm States and Variations: Prints by Jasper Johns at the National Gallery of Art]
* [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/john/hd_john.htm Jasper Johns (born 1930)] Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
* [http://www.artchive.com/artchive/J/johnsbio.html Jasper Johns bio at artchive.com]
* [http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/1996/johns/pages/johns.flag.html "Flag" at the Museum of Modern Art]
* [http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/viewone.asp?dep=21&viewmode=0&item=1998.329 "White Flag" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art]
* [http://www.transordinator.de/edition/start/0.html False Start] Act out a Jasper Johns painting.
* [http://vernissage.tv/blog/2007/06/02/jasper-johns-kunstmuseum-basel-part-12/ Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955–1965, Kunstmuseum Basel.] Video at VernissageTV.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jasper Johns — Jasper Johns, Jr. (* 15. Mai 1930 in Augusta, Georgia) ist ein vielseitiger US amerikanischer Maler, Plastiker, Bühnen und Kostümbildner. Er gilt als ein Wegbereiter der Pop Art, ohne dass sein bildnerisches Werk dieser Stilrichtung zuzurechnen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jasper Johns — (Augusta, Georgia, 15 de mayo de 1930) es un pintor, escultor y artista gráfico estadounidense que ha integrado a su expresión pictórica una serie de elementos del Arte Pop. Contenido 1 Vida 2 Obra 3 Enlaces externos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jasper Johns — (Augusta, Georgia, 15 de mayo de 1930 ) Pintor, escultor y artista gráfico estadounidense que ha integrado a su expresión pictórica una serie de elementos del Arte Pop. En 1954 empezó a pintar obras que se centraban en temas como banderas… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Jasper Johns — ➡ Johns * * * …   Universalium

  • Jasper Johns — noun United States artist and proponent of pop art (born in 1930) • Syn: ↑Johns • Instance Hypernyms: ↑artist, ↑creative person …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jasper Johns — n. (born 1930) contemporary American painter and sculptor, creator of abstract expressionist and pop art works …   English contemporary dictionary

  • JOHNS (J.) — JOHNS JASPER (1930 ) Peintre et sculpteur américain né à Augusta en Georgie, Jasper Johns est aussi un dessinateur et un graveur hors pair. Omniprésent dans les histoires de l’art contemporain et dans les plus grands musées, il est un des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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