December 09, 2019

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Royal Academy presents the first comprehensive survey of Jasper Johns in the UK in 40 years

23 September, 2017 - 24 September, 2017

Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls, 1960.


After the exhibitions dedicated to major contemporary artists Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer and Ai Weiwei, now it’s the turn of an American legend, Jasper Johns,  to take centre stage in this new landmark exhibition.

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will be the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to be held in the UK in 40 years.

Jasper Johns is regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century and has remained central to American contemporary art since the 1950s. Widely known for his iconic images of flags, targets, numbers, maps and light bulbs, Jasper Johns has occupied a central position in American art since his first solo exhibition in New York in 1958. His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects and symbols, such as his iconic flag and target works, has made the familiar unfamiliar, achieving this through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his ground-breaking paintings and sculptures, Johns established a decisive new direction in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism.

Comprising over 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, it will reveal the continuities and changes that have occurred over the past six decades and the curiosity and experimentation that Johns continues to apply to his current practice.

During the 1960s Johns added an array of household and studio objects and imprints and casts of the human figure. The works of the 1970s are dominated by an abstract pattern, referred to as ‘crosshatchings.’ During the 1980s and 1990s Johns introduced a variety of images that engaged with the ambiguities of perception and ongoing themes involving memory, sexuality, and the contemplation of mortality. From this time, Johns increasingly incorporated tracings and details of works by artists including Matthias Grünewald, Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch. By the early 2000s Johns had embarked on the pared-down and more conceptual Catenary series which, along with other recent works such as 5 Postcards, 2013 and Regrets, 2013, shows the rich productivity and vitality of this late phase of his career.


Top Image: Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls, 1960. Encaustic and collage on canvas with objects. 165.1 x 137.5 cm. Collection of the artist © Jasper Johns / AGA, New York / DACS, London 2017. Photo: Jamie Stukenberg © The Wildenstein Plattner Institute, 2017.


23 September, 2017
24 September, 2017
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Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, Picadilly
London, W1J 0BD United Kingdom
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