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An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018

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When American artist Jasper Johns’ paintings of flags and targets were first exhibited in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Over the following 60 years, Johns (American, b. 1930) has continued to fascinate viewers with his beautiful and complex paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is considered one of the greatest living American artists.

An Art of Changes  surveys six decades of Johns’ practice in printmaking through a selection of some 90 works in a wide range of techniques. Johns is considered one of the most innovative artists ever to make prints. He created his first print, a lithograph of a target, in 1960. He immediately realized that printmaking was the perfect medium through which to explore his interest in change, and he has said “I like to repeat an image in another medium to observe the play between the two.” Since 1960, he has reworked many of his paintings in print form, using strategies and techniques such as fragmenting, doubling, reversing, and varying scale or color.

The exhibition is organized in four sections that are thematic and follow a largely chronological order. Viewers will see examples of the artist’s familiar flags, targets, and numerals as well as images that incorporate the tools, materials, and techniques of mark-making; more abstract works derived from images of flagstones and hatch marks; and more recent works that teem with autobiographical and personal imagery. Throughout, we follow Johns’ creative process as he reconsiders and revises some of these key motifs over time.

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.

An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018
  • Times:  During Museum Open Hours
  • October 2, 2021 to January 2, 2022
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum
  • Free with Museum Admission
  • Recurring daily