Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns
Three Flags.jpg
Born Jasper Johns, Jr.
(1930-05-15) May 15, 1930 (age 87)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Nationality American
Known for Painting, printmaking
Notable work Flags, Numbers, Maps, Stenciled Words
Movement Abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada, pop art
Awards (1988) Awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennial Artist of the year
(1989) Awards By MIR
(1990) National Medal of Arts
(1993) Praemium Imperiale
(2011) Presidential Medal of Freedom
Detail of Flag (1954–55). Museum of Modern Art, New York City. This image illustrates Johns' early technique of painting with thick, dripping encaustic over a collage made from found materials such as newspaper. This rough method of construction is rarely visible in photographic reproductions of his work.
Jasper Johns, Map, 1961. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Flags, maps, targets, stenciled words and numbers were themes used by Johns in the 1960s.

Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker associated with Abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada, and Pop art.


Born in Augusta, Georgia, Jasper Johns spent his early life in Allendale, South Carolina, with his paternal grandparents after his parents' marriage failed. He then spent a year living with his mother in Columbia, South Carolina, and thereafter he spent several years living with his aunt Gladys in Lake Murray, South Carolina, twenty-two miles from Columbia. He completed Edmunds High School (now Sumter High School) class of 1947 in Sumter, South Carolina, where he once again lived with his mother. [1] Recounting this period in his life, he once said, "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 a total of three semesters at the University of South Carolina, from 1947 to 1948. [2] He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design in 1949. [2] In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Sendai, Japan, during the Korean War. [2]

In 1954, after returning to New York, Johns met Robert Rauschenberg and they became long-term lovers. For a time they lived in the same building as Rachel Rosenthal. [3] [4] [5] In the same period he was strongly influenced by the gay couple Merce Cunningham (a choreographer) and John Cage (a composer). [6] [7] Working together they explored the contemporary art scene, and began developing their ideas on art. [2]

In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli discovered Johns while visiting Rauschenberg's studio. [2] Castelli gave him his first solo show. It was here that Alfred Barr, the founding director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, purchased four works from this show. [8] In 1963, Johns and Cage founded Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, now known as Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York City.

Johns currently lives in Sharon, Connecticut, and on the island of Saint Martin. [9] Until 2012, he lived in a rustic 1930s farmhouse with a glass-walled studio in Stony Point, New York. He first began visiting Saint Martin in the late 1960s and bought the property there in 1972. The architect Philip Johnson is the principal designer of his Saint Martin home, a long, white, rectangular structure divided into three distinct sections. [10]

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