lives and works
New York, USA
University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, 1948
Parsons School of Design, New York, USA, 1949
about the artist
Equal parts painter and printmaker, Jasper Johns has been called by many art historians the most significant American artist of the twentieth century. Divorcing his practice from the embers of Abstract Expressionism, Johns paved the path that was to take art in America onto its subsequent Pop and Minimalist directions. Preoccupied with the quest for logic and to understand the disruption of logic, the artist wielded “things the mind already knows” as iconography, or, more accurately, the repetition of these “things” with nuanced variations, whether on the same surface or on multiplied surfaces in the form of prints. In 1963, Johns, John Cage, and other like-minded individuals founded the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York, a nonprofit institution dedicated to providing financial support and formal recognition to artists and art organizations. Johns has been honored with numerous accolades over the years, which include being elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States in 1984 and appointed Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in the United Kingdom in 1989. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1990 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, both of which were presented to him by the US government. Solo surveys of his work have been held at leading institutions, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, all in the United States, as well as the Kunstmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and many others.