Artist
Jasper Johns
American artist

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Jasper Johns
American artist
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Birth Date

May 15, 1930

emckinstry's picture

Contributor

Jasper Johns is taking names and playing art games.

Jasper Johns was born in 1930s Georgia, and like any good American boy of his generation, he served two years in the army before moving to New York in 1953 to pursue his artistic dreams. There he met some of his most profound influences, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham and John Cage, the Rat Pack of the 1950s art movement. With this crew, he went from those Georgia boy beginnings to becoming the great artist we know today, some would even say the father of Pop Art. He helped to create one of the most iconic art movements of the 20th century. By concentrating on process and appropriating cultural icons, he changed the art world forever.

Johns was dedicated to repainting and resculpting discernible imagery like signage, flags, targets and other seemingly common objects. This was the ideal jumping off point to move art from the Expressionist distortion of the world towards a new-found, commercial and recognizable realm known as Pop Art.

Despite his intense focus, his career didn’t truly kick off until he got into bed - literally and figuratively - with Rauschenberg, who showed him off and got him his first solo show in New York in 1958. Although his dramatic love affair was passionate and unruly, Johns’ artistic technique stressed conscious control over the process and product rather than giving in to spontaneity. Even the objects of his works were controlled, derived from “things the mind already knows” like his famous flags and targets made out of oil, encaustic, ink, collage and relief. Johns adored using recognizable, mass culture objects in order to leave all essential things - life, art, and love - up to the limitless game of reinterpretation.

 

Sources

Sources

  1. “Jasper Johns: Biography.” Artnet. Accessed April 9, 2017. http://www.artnet.com/artists/jasper-johns/biography
  2. “Jasper Johns (born 1930).” The Met. Accessed April 7, 2017. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/john/hd_john.htm
  3. “Jasper Johns: American Painter and Printmaker.” The Art Story. Accessed April 7, 2017. http://www.theartstory.org/artist-johns-jasper.htm
  4. “Jasper Johns and his paintings.” Jasper Johns. Accessed April 8, 2017. http://www.jasper-johns.org/

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker whose work is associated with abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada, and pop art. He is well known for his depictions of the American flag and other US-related topics. Johns' works regularly sell for millions of dollars at sale and auction, including a reported $110 million sale in 2010. At multiple times works by Johns have held the title of most paid for a work by a living artist.

Johns has received many honors throughout his career, including receipt of the National Medal of Arts in 1990, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. In 2018, The New York Times called him the United States' "foremost living artist."

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Jasper Johns.