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 Jasper Johns  (1930 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: modernist flags, pop symbol painting, sculpture

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Ad Code: 1
Jasper Johns
from Auction House Records.
Flag
© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY See Details
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Painter, sculptor, and printmaker Jasper Johns became one of America's best-known post-Abstract Expressionists and Minimalists.  His name is most associated with pictorial images of flags and numbers, Pop-Art subjects that he depicted in Minimalist style with emphasis on linearity, repetition, and symmetry.  Johns completed his first flag painting in 1955, alphabet subjects in 1956, sculpture in 1958, and lithographs in 1960.

Unlike Abstract Expressionism, these signature works seem removed from the artist's emotions.  They are modernist in that they lack traditional perspective, focusing on inter-relationships of color and shapes, but are realist in that they have recognizable subject matter.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Johns grew up in South Carolina, with no formal art training but did attend the University of South Carolina for two years.  In 1949 he moved to New York City but was drafted into the Army.  Returning to New York, he began experimenting with styles, and "Flag", dated 1955, earned him his first major attention.  It was revolutionary in that it was simply a geometric design on a large canvas, divorced from emotional or political connotation.

His flag paintings are credited as key in the development of Minimal Art in that the focus of these pieces was their linearity and uniformity with de-emphasis on the unique creative talents of the artist.  For Johns, major influences on this Minimalist style were his friendships with dancer Merce Cunningham, composer John Cage, and artist Robert Rauschenberg.

Over the next few years, Johns used the same approach with other images that were traditional symbols.  In 1956 to 1957, he added numbers to his paintings; in 1958, he did his first sculpture of mundane objects; and in 1960, he executed his first lithographs.

In 1959, his work became increasingly abstract, influenced by Surrealism and Dadaism, with surfaces complicated by combining bold colors with letters and other symbols, some of them obvious such as maps and others hard to read.  He created assemblage, and from 1972, used a cross-hatching method.

In 1997, a major retrospective of 225 of Johns' work was held in New York at the Museum of Modern Art, organized by Kirk Varnedoe.  Following this, he began a new series that was much more muted, mysterious, and serene than his earlier work.  The exhibition of these paintings debuted on September 15, 1999 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and traveled to the Yale University Art Gallery in January 2000 and then to the Dallas Museum of Art.

In the late 1990s, Johns has been working from a restored barn near Sharon, Connecticut and pursues a hobby of raising bees.

Source:
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in 1930 at Augusta, Georgia, Jasper Johns grew up in South Carolina. He was drafted into the army and stationed in Japan.  Between 1949 and 1951, he studied at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and from 1952 to 1958, he worked in a bookshop in New York. He also did display work with Robert Rauschenberg for Bonwit Teller and Tiffany.

In 1954 he painted his first flag picture.  He had his first one-man exhibition in 1958 at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York and was represented at the Venice Biennale during the same year.  His picture "Grey Numbers" also won the International Prize at the Pittsburgh Biennale.  In 1959 he took part with Rauschenberg in Allan Kaprow's "Happening Eighteen Happenings in Six Parts."  He was included in the collective exhibition Sixteen Americans in the same year at the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1960, Johns began working with lithographs.  In 1961 he did his first large map picture and traveled to Paris for an exhibition at the Galerie Rive Droite.  In 1964 he was given a comprehensive retrospective at the Jewish Museum, New York.  The catalog included texts by John Cage and Alan Solomon.  He was represented at the Venice Biennale in the same year.

In 1965 he had a retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum, organized by Walter Hopps.  During the same year he saw a Duchamp exhibition and won a prize at the 6th International Exhibition of Graphic Art, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.  In 1966 he had a one-man exhibition of drawings at the National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington.  In 1967 he rented a loft in Canal Street and painted Harlem Light using a tile motif.  He also illustrated Frank O'Hara's book of poems In Memory of My Feelings.

He was Artistic Adviser for the composer John Cage and Merce Cunningham's Dance Company until 1972, collaborating with Robert Morris, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol and Bruce Naumann.  In that year he was represented at the Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany,  designed costumes for Merce Cunningham's "Walkaround Time" and spent seven weeks at the printers Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles.  In 1973 he met Samuel Beckett in Paris.  He moved to Stony Point, N.Y.

He was given a comprehensive retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1977, shown in 1978 at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, Hayward Gallery, London, and Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo.  He was represented at the Venice Biennale in 1978.  In 1979 the Kunstmuseum Basel put on an exhibition of his graphic work which toured Europe.  In 1988 he was awarded the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale.

Source:
www.popart.com


Biography from Leslie Sacks Fine Art:
Painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Jasper Johns became one of America's best-known post-Abstract Expressionists and Minimalists. His name is most associated with pictorial images of flags and numbers, Pop-Art subjects that Jasper Johns depicted in Minimalist style with emphasis on linearity, repetition, and symmetry. Jasper Johns completed his first flag painting in 1955, alphabet subjects in 1956, sculpture in 1958, and lithographs in 1960.

Unlike Abstract Expressionism, these signature works seem removed from the artist's emotions. They are modernist in that they lack traditional perspective, focusing on interrelationships of color and shapes, but are realist in that they have recognizable subject matter.

Born in Allendale, South Carolina, Jasper Johns grew up in that state with no formal art training but did attend the University of South Carolina for two years. In 1949, Jasper Johns moved to New York City but was drafted into the Army. Returning to New York, Jasper Johns began experimenting with styles, and Flag, dated 1955, earned him his first major attention. It was revolutionary in that it was simply a geometric design on a large canvas, divorced from emotional or political connotation.

His flag paintings are credited as key in the development of Minimal Art in that the focus of these pieces was their linearity and uniformity with de-emphasis on the unique creative talents of the artist. For Jasper Johns, major influences on this Minimalist style were his friendships with dancer Merce Cunningham, composer John Cage, and artist Robert Rauschenberg.

Over the next few years, Jasper Johns used the same approach with other images that were traditionally symbols. In 1956 to 1957, Jasper Johns added numbers to his paintings; in 1958, he did his first sculpture of mundane objects. In 1960, he executed his first lithographs. He later spent seven weeks at the printers Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles.

Jasper Johns was given a comprehensive retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1977. Jasper Johns has also shown in 1978 at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Muse National d'Art Moderne, Paris, Hayward Gallery, London, and Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo. Jasper Johns was represented at the Venice Biennale in 1978. In 1979 the Kunstmuseum Basle put on an exhibition of his graphic work which toured Europe. In 1988 he was awarded the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale.

In 1997, a major retrospective of 225 of Johns' work was held in New York at the Museum of Modern Art, organized by Kirk Varnedoe. Following this, Jasper Johns began a new series that were much more muted, mysterious, and serene than his earlier work. The exhibition of these paintings debuted on September 15, 1999 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and traveled to the Yale University Art Gallery in January 2000 and then to the Dallas Museum of Art.

Biography from GallArt.com:
Born on May 15, 1930, in Augusta, Georgia, Jasper Johns went on to create paintings based on what others might see as ordinary or mundane items, such as maps and numbers, with an innovative technique. Over the years he has become a leading force in the art world, working in sculpture and collage as well and collaborating with an array of other artists, including choreographer Merce Cunningham.

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Jasper Johns is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Flag Painters
Modernism
Sculptors



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