When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, their unprecedented combination of textured surfaces and recognizable images established him as a fresh new voice in American art. Although best known for those early paintings, Johns has also produced hundreds of lithographs, intaglios, and screen prints since 1960.
In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, Walker Art Center presents An Art of Changes, surveying Johns’s printmaking practice through a selection of some 90 works in a variety of mediums. Beginning with his first lithograph, Target (1960), viewers can trace the artist’s exploration of common motifs as they are recycled, revised, or rendered differently over the course of six decades.
The exhibition is arranged into four thematic sections, showcasing familiar symbols and alphabets, abstract patterns borrowed from the environment, examinations of artists’ tools and materials, and later works teeming with more personal imagery. The range of prints reflects an important aspect of Johns’s complex body of work, often considered one of the most influential of 20th century American art.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts