Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist of the Week - (Linking to ABC Wednesday)

J is for Jasper Johns
born May 15, 1930

Jasper Johns is an American contemporary artist who works as a painter, printmaker and sculptor. In the late 1950’s, Jasper Johns emerged as force in the American art scene. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags, and targets led the artistic community away from Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism. Today, as his prints and paintings set record prices at auction, the meanings of his paintings, his imagery, and his changing style continue to be subjects of controversy. read the rest here.

"To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist."
 ~Jasper Johns

 (encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted to plywood)
42 x 61 in.
Museum of Modern Art, New York

"One night I dreamed I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it. And I did. I worked on that painting a long time. It's a very rotten painting—physically rotten—because I began it in house enamel paint, which you paint furniture with, and it wouldn't dry quickly enough. Then I had in my head this idea of something I had read or heard about: wax encaustic."

~Jasper Johns 
 MoMA, New York

"Everyone is of course free to interpret the work in his own way. I think seeing a picture is one thing and interpreting it is another. "
Jasper Johns


MoMA, New York

"I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don't think that's a painter's business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason."
~Jasper Johns

Color Linoleum Cut
5 Linoleum blocks cut by the Artist and Printed on
Handmade Kurotani Mitsumata paper
22 3/4 x 17 inches 
Racing Thoughts
 (painting, collage and assemblage)

Collaboration was an important part in advancing Johns’ own art, and he worked regularly with a number of artists including Robert Morris, Andy Warhol, and Bruce Naumann. In 1967, he met the poet Frank O’Hara and illustrated his book, In Memory of My Feelings.



  1. This type of Art, is not my personal favorite, but wouldn't it be a boring place if all Artist thought the same way. I love the variety you share with us, and the uniqueness of each one.

    Another great ABC Wed. post.

  2. Subjects of controversy is the fun part. I like the Color Linoleum Cut.

  3. as soon as I saw the linky for your post, I knew the artist!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. A wonderful J post. Amazing artist.

  5. What a beautiful take on J!

    Come and see the Joys of our Lives, have a lovely day!

  6. I've never been able to understand Jasper Johns work but perhaps I wasn't mature enough until very recently. The pieces you've chosen are a great sampling.

  7. I can't say that I'm a huge Johns fan either but the last time I saw his work up-close and personal at MoMA, I felt a bit differently about it. His images are as recognizable to me now as Warhol, though he is not the American household word that AW was and is.

    The point-of-view Johns was trying to work from is lost on me, with all of its psychoanalytic thinking. Still, I find his perspective fascinating in and of itself, even as I don't especially love the art itself.

  8. I'm not surprised that you found his art more compelling in person - I find that particularly true of multi-media art, where texture and relief generally play a more central role in eliciting a visceral response.

    Nice job turning me on to one more flower in the field of life - yet another nail in the coffin of my art education.   ;)


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