Jasper Johns, American Painter, Born May 15, 1930

Jasper Johns, American Painter, Born May 15, 1930

One of the most iconic 20th-century painter sculptor and print-maker appeared as a key figure in the American art scene. Jasper Johns association with abstract expressionism and pop art credited of crucially impacting the pop art movement and minimalism. Widely known for his richly worked paintings of maps and especially for the depiction of the American flag leads the artistic community towards the new horizon, highlights on the creation of the art based on portraying concepts and principles by stepping out of the boundaries and experimenting innovative ideas and new techniques making artwork stood among the queue for highly paid artistries at sale and auction.

Born on May 15, 1930, in Augusta raised in Allendale, South Carolina dreamed to be an artist. Arguably the childhood of the future artist was harrowing because of the separation of parents and multiple shifts in settling with relatives lead to very low exposure to art. He briefly studied at the University of South Carolina before sailing for his future in New York. Johns’ artistic inspiration and refreshed creativity streams out with the exposure of Japanese traditional art while deputed in the land of the rising sun during the Korean war, has massively impacted his life and developed his artistic personality to present him in the art world.

Footing back in New York he met a number of artists including the most aspiring Robert Rauschenberg, the ambitious duo created window displays for clientele such as Tiffany’s. They team up with other members like John Cage and Merce Cunningham reinforced artistic pair in exploring new art scene and their neo-dada works merged traditional imagery. Johns’ inspiration from the dream that he is painting American flag leads to the creation of The Flag, an encaustic painting with the classical methodology of mixing colouring with melted wax roots back in ancient Egypt. He was very motivated and influenced by Marcel Duchamp’s paintings who had transformed the art with his ready-made objects and installation.


Flag (1955) by Jasper Johns

Getting prominence and reputation as a sensational and categorical artist, Jasper Johns’ painting of maps and target summoned both praise and criticism. Leo Castelli was impressed by exploring rising star’s abilities and creativity upon visiting Robert Rauschenberg’s studio and invited his solo exhibition at his gallery which a big success with Museum of Modern Art purchasing three of Johns’ murals. When the art world was searching for new ideas with the pure essence of abstract expressionism, he stood up ignoring the conventional style and expressed his ideas displaying flags and maps shift the course of modern art history.

Jasper Johns – Map Exploring the World- Map 1961

The artist while continuing work with flags, maps and targets he introduced sculptural ideas in paintings incorporated them in college, Flashlight, and Fragment of a Letter are examples of  Jasper john’s sculptural artwork. Most of his earlier sculpture includes normal day items that found around the home such as light bulbs, paintbrushes, and beer cans. Collaboration impacts a lot advancing artist, he worked with contemporary pop artist including Andy Warhol, Bruce Naumann, and Robert Morris, the artist illustrated Frank O’Hara’s book “In the Memory of My Feelings”.

Jasper Johns’ Painted Bronze (Ale Cans)
Jasper Johns, The Critic Sees, 1961, Relief

He closely works examining and developing the prevailing composition of a variety of printmaking techniques; during the period of the seventies, he became the first artist to use handfed lithographic press which results in the production of an image apprehend in printmaking and produced Cup 2 Picasso for a French publication. For him the medium boast experimentation through the ease, he revolutionized the field of screen printing and lithography with his innovations. In 1976 he met the writer Samuel Beckett who requested the artist to design his written piece, Fizzles; transforms his work as a new beginning which showcased his artistic monotone. The artist changed his course once again and shown interest in painting autobiography, such emotional work seemed to the betrayal of his earlier art lifestyle he had known for, once claimed to carefree with sentiments.

Johns awarded with multiple credentials includes the Golden prize for painting at Venice Biennial, Presidential Award of Freedom by US President Barrack Obama, being the first artist to receive after Alexander Calder, and National Medal of Arts. His “False Start” was auctioned at Sotheby’s setting a record highest-paid artwork and one of his versions of Flag established another record for any living artist. One of the Johns’ paintings reported being sold privately at $110 Million as the most expensive mural. He is currently residing in Sharon Connecticut. Artist’s work is held in collections of Tate gallery in London, National Gallery of Art in Washington, Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Jasper John Interview


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