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, he has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. Today, Jasper Johns is widely considered one of America’s most influential artists.
An Art of Changes is a rare opportunity to survey 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. 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.
In addition to the printed works, the exhibition hosts supporting materials and interactive opportunities for visitors. One gallery shows two films: Jasper Johns: Decoy, 1972, by Michael Blackwood, and Hanafuda/Jasper/Johns, 1981, by Katrina Martin. The films follow Johns through the printmaking process during two pivotal eras of his career and provide insight into his creative process. The exhibition also features a number of printmaking tools, provided on loan by Artists Image Resource, a laboratory learning center in Pittsburgh’s Northside. Visitors are also invited to experiment with printmaking through an in-gallery activity appropriate for all ages.
An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Major support is provided by Judy Dayton and the Prospect Creek Foundation. Additional support is provided by Robert and Rebecca Pohlad and Annette and John Whaley.
The exhibition is curated by Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center. Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation is organized by Eric Crosby, the Henry J. Heinz II Acting Director and Richard Armstrong Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.