Jasper Johns

Topics: Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Art Pages: 3 (973 words) Published: March 12, 2014

During his life long career, Jasper Johns artist contributed more than 225 unique and challenged artworks that has set the standard for American art in general and for Pop art in particular. Among Johns’ artwork, the “Flag” (1954-55) is the painting that raised the very first wave in Pop Art world and remained to be one of the most influential artworks of its time .

Jasper Johns was born in Augusta, Georgia on May 15, 1930 to William Jasper Johns and Jean Riley. After his parents' divorce, he moved to Allendale, South Carolina to live with his paternal grandparents (Klacsmann, 2009). Johns grew up wanting to be an artist (Rosenthal, 2004). Thus, after attending three semesters in the University of South Carolina at Columbia, he moved to Parsons School of Design in New York to study and start his career at the age of twenty-four. Later, Johns served two years in the army during the Korean War, stationing in South Carolina and Sendai, Japan, then returned to New York in 1953 (Klacsmann, 2009; Rosenthal, 2004). Johns attended innumerable art exhibitions in New York and became friends with the artist Robert Rauschenberg, the composer John Cage and the choreographer Merce Cunningham (Rosenthal, 2004).

Jasper Johns was influenced by Marcel Duchamp, who was well-known for his “readymades” – a series of commonplace objects presented as complete artworks. In the opinion of Wallace (2002), Johns’ painting “According to What” has an noticeable relation to Duchamp’s “Tu m’” (1918). Additionally, his famous hallmark, Flag, also revealed that “the story of high-modernism had always been the story of the readymade”. Strongly drawn to the subversive legacy of Marcel Duchamp, Johns revolutionized the art world with a series of everyday items in the mid-1950s and became generally recognized as a key progenitor of Pop Art of the 1960s.

To describe the great impacts John had on the modern art, Gibson once commented: “[Johns] at a stroke (no pun intended) undercut the...
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