When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and acumen of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is today considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.
An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking through a selection of some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, and lead relief—all drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artist’s prints. Organized in four thematic, roughly chronological sections, the exhibition follows Johns as he revises and recycles key motifs over time. Viewers will see examples of his familiar flags and targets as well as images that explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques of mark-making; abstract works based on motifs known as flagstones and hatch marks; and later works that teem with autobiographical and personal imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures. After its presentation at the Walker, the exhibition will travel to three US venues.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts