Jasper Johns - PowerPoint by zGemQRk

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									JASPER JOHNS


             Painter of
 “Things the mind already knows”
  “Things seen, but not looked at”
Signs of our times




     What happens when you see these?
           Signs and Symbols
• things the mind
  “already knows”, things
  that are “looked at but
  not seen” – i.e. familiar
• Their function is not
  aesthetic. They often
  COMMAND us to do
  things
• 20th C America – full of
  such signs
• Symbols provide the
  ICONOGRAPHY and
  FORM of Johns’ work
                                           Jasper John’s
                                             subjects
                                                                 Figure 4 (1959)
   Flag 1954

•Flags
•Targets
•Numbers
•Alphabet
•Colours
•Maps                           Target with Plaster Casts 1955
•What do all of these have in
common?
           John’s sUBJeCTs
• He is not interested in naturalistic subjects
• He paints SIGNS – often 2D not 3D
• They are banal, familiar, recognisable,
  everyday images
• Most are UNIVERSALLY accessible
Key Biographical details
        • Born 1930
        • Moved to N.Y. in the early 1950s
        • Met John Cage, Merce Cunningham
          and Robert Rauschenberg at Black
          Mountain College & collaborated
          with them. (JJ was 5 years younger
          than RR)
        • Became interested in Duchamp’s
          ‘readymades’
        • 1958 Leo Castelli show; MoMA
          bought 3 of his works– at age 28
          was an overnight sensation.
        • Produced prints & sculpture too
•   Encaustic, oil, and
    collage on fabric
    mounted on plywood

•
    (three panels)
    107.3 x 154 cm
                           Flag 1954-55
•   The Museum of Modern
    Art, New York


Subject matter –
  inspired by a
  dream

WHY USE A
 FLAG?

WHAT EFFECT
 ON US AS
 VIEWER?
White Flag 1955
• Encaustic, oil, newsprint, and
  charcoal on canvas
• 198.9 x 306.7
• The Metropolitan Museum of
  Art, NY
 “There may or may not be an idea, and the
 meaning may just be that the painting exists.”



    THE INFLUENCE OF JOHN CAGE
    • Zen Buddhism – no hierarchies, openess to meaning
    •“The thing to do is to keep the head alert but empty.”
    - Cage’s music of silence / everyday noises: the listener had to identify, even create own music in the sounds
• Is it a flag?
(what makes
  a flag a
  flag?)

• A reproduc-
  tion of a
  flag?


• Or neither?

• Why is a        Three Flags 1958
                             Encaustic on canvas
  flag such a
                            78.4 x 115. 6 x 12.7
  potent
  image?          Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Three Flags


• “In Three Flags Johns questioned the idea of the
  picture plane. The object that he created
  superimposed three painted images of the flag, with
  each successively smaller flag obliterating part of the
  one beneath. … He has painted flat images (the
  flag), but the picture plane cannot be defined. Is it
  the largest canvas and do the others project, or is it
  the smallest with the others receding?” (from Johns,
  by Richard Frances)
    Johns’ Media and proCess –
            Encaustic
•   Originally used by Greek   PROCESS:
    artists.                   1. Newspaper is collaged
•   Word - from Greek for         down and embedded with
    “burnt in” as paint was       wax.
    bonded to support by       2. Paint/stain is dissolved into
    passing a hot metal rod       liquid wax, applied to the
    over pigment.                 work with a spatula while
                                  hot, and fixed with heat.
MEDIA:                         3. Wax needs to cool
•  oil paint                      between layers. It cools
•  Paraffin wax                   quickly!
•  Newspaper                   4. Technique allows for
                                  translucent glazes to be
•  Support                        layered
        Flag
       above
       White
       with
      Collage
•   1955
•   Encaustic and collage on
    canvas
•   Kunstmuseum Basel


• Stylistically, who
  does this remind
  you of?
THE EFFECT OF USING
    ENCAUSTIC?
       EFFECT OF ENCAUSTIC
• The newspapers seem to be “SUSPENDED” between
  layers of wax.
• The TRANSLUCENCY of the wax gives the work a
  SENSUOUS appeal as an object
• The PAINTERLY surface helps us to remember that this
  is a painting. Not illusionistic or representational.
• It clearly shows how the work is made – the PROCESS
  is the subject matter
• It shows the fruits of an artist’s COLLABORATION with
  the materials – allows the CHARACTER of the media
  to come through.
Target with
 Four Faces
• 1955
• encaustic on newspaper and
  cloth over canvas surmounted
  by four tinted-plaster faces in
  wood box with hinged front
• The Museum of Modern Art,
  New York


• What does this
  image make you
  think of?
• How are we
  conditioned to see
  targets?
    Target with
   Plaster casts
• 1955
• encaustic on canvas with plaster
  casts
• 129.5 x 111.8 x 8.9cm
• Leo Castelli Gallery, New York


• What objects make up
  this work?
• What elements force
  the viewer to be active?
• Does this work show the
  artist’s personal taste or
  is it about a
  predetermined system?
What colours can you see?
• RED
           • BLUE
                     • YELLOW
          • ORANGE
• WHITE
          • GREEN
FALSE START
•   1959
•   Oil on canvas
•   170.8 x 137.2 cm
•   Collection David Geffen, Los
    Angeles


• How has Johns’
  TECHNIQUE changed?
• Why do you think he
  was drawn to
  STENCILS?
• How would you
  describe the STYLE of
  this work?
         The Power of Language
• Wittgenstein: “The Limits of our language are the limits of our world.”
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0cN_bpLrxk
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIhl9rVg6mM&feature=related
• Seeing is overpowered by language.
• We often tend to “read” rather than “see”. This is why the colours of
  words become “things not seen”
• The disjunction between the word and the colour creates confusion as
  there is no connection between the signifier / signified




                                    Left: Magritte, Ceci n’est pas une pipe
•   1960
•   Oil on bronze
•   14 x 20.3 x 12 cm
•   Museum Ludwig, Ludwig
    Donation, Cologne



• “at one and the
  same time
  laboriously
  realistic and
  patently
  artificial”
• (I. Chilvers,
  Oxford Dict of
  Art)

• What are
  these?
• Why the title?            Painted Bronze 1960
              Painted bronze
• The title gives a straight forward description of what it is. They
  are not real beer cans.
• The cans are not replicas, not identical, not “mass produced”
  looking
• The sculpture acknowledges the materials – they are signs of the
  handmade.
• We see bronze as bronze, paint as paint. However our
  background knowledge may mislead us into thinking we see two
  beer cans.
• The subject matter challenges the high art hierarchy – beer cans
  would seem to belong in a pub, not a gallery? But then, these
  are “painted bronzes” – which DO belong in a gallery.
• Thus, this works makes us aware of the act of SEEING.
PAINTED BRONZE
 (SAVARIN) 1960
•   1960
•   Painted bronze
•   34.3 x 20.3 cm diameter
•   Collection of the artist

• Is the Savarin can a coffee tin
  or a container for cleaning
  the brushes?
• What are some of the ironies
  present in this work?
Fool’s hoUse 1962
• 182.9 x 91.4 cm
• Collection Mr. Juan Christophe
  Castelli

• How does this work differ from
  Johns’ earlier work?

• Label the objects in the work.

• Iconography: why the arrow? The
  broom?
          Device




•   1961-62
•   Oil on canvas with objects
•   182.9 x 122.5 cm
•   Dallas Museum of Fine Arts
• Encaustic and collage on canvas
• 152.4 x 236.2 cm                  Map 1963
• Private collection
CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING
   oF Johns’ KeY ideas!
      Summary: Key THEMES
Jasper Johns’ is interested in

• SIGNS and how we perceive them – the gap between
  what the eye sees and the mind knows.
• AVOIDING VALUE JUDGEMENTS / HIERARCHY
• Treating ART as OBJECTS, rather than symbols with
  preconceived meanings
• PERCEPTION and how language affects how we see
• VIEWER BEING ACTIVE IN MAKING MEANING
         Style comparison
      Complete a double-bubble




Painted Bronze (Jasper Johns, 1960)   Coca Cola Bottles, Andy Warhol, 1962
           Artistic Context
• A reaction against the emotionality of Abstract
  Expressionism “Johns’ paintings of targets, maps,
  invited both the wrath and praise of critics. Johns’ early
  work combined a serious concern for the craft of
  painting with an everyday, almost absurd, subject
  matter. The meaning of the painting could be found in
  the painting process itself.”
• Challenging conventional subject matter of high art:
• Made viewers ask “what is art?”
• It was a new experience for gallery goers to find
  paintings solely of such things as flags and numbers.
  The simplicity and familiarity of the subject matter
  piqued viewer interest in both Johns’ motivation and his
  process. (PBS American Masters)
     5 minute Debate:
        In groups, ARGUE –
Jasper Johns has more in common with
           Rauschenberg
             Lichtenstein
               Warhol
   come up with 3 main arguments
SUMMARY – create a mind map

• STYLE – make 3 main stylistic characteristics of
  Johns’ work

• CONTEXT - Name 3 important INFLUENCES

• According to our CHAPS mnemonic – to what
  extent could Johns be considered a Pop artist?
             References
• PPT Images and details of work from
  www.htg.tartu.ee/~merill/20s/15.%20NEODADA.
  ppt
• Johns, by Richard Francis, Abbeville Modern
  Masters, 1984.
• http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episo
  des/jasper-johns/about-the-painter/54/
• http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/e/encaustic.html
• http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O2-
  encausticpainting.html

								
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