Biography

Jasper Johns was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1930 and grew up in South Carolina. At the age of 22 Johns moved away from the South to settle in New York, thus pursuing his childhood dream of becoming an artist. In New York, Johns met numerous artists including Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Merce Cunningham, with whom he retained close intellectual ties over the following years. In 1954/55 he created his seminal painting Flag, a piece consisting of collaged newspaper cuttings painted over in multiple layers. The year 1958 marked Johns' breakthrough as an artist. He had his first solo exhibition at the newly opened Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. His work was shown at the Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art bought three of his works and the art scene talked about his ouvre. After his gallery debut, Jasper Johns partially began to move away from his style of painting, which had within no time brought him universal acclaim. In the early 1960s this interest in the process character of painting rather then representation painting itself, led Jasper Johns to printmaking. His interest in printmaking led to subsequent innovation in silk screening, lithography and etching. During the 1980s autobiographical material and realistic figuration gained importance in Johns'. For example, A key motif in Johns' approach to art is the practice of introducing a new style of painting while simultaneously turning back to earlier motifs in his prints, repeating them, mirroring them and working them out in series. Over the past 50 years Johns created a vast and comprehensive oeuvre, which is shown in all important museums and collections of 20th century art. Jasper Johns lives and works in New York.