The Long Run at MoMA

Jasper Johns is one of the artists featured at the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit called Long Run.  Each work, made after 1970, was done by an artist who was at least 45, although many were older. Included in the exhibit are works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Melvin Edwards, Gerhard Richter, Frank Stella, and many others. Many artists, like Jasper Johns, were young and hungry and eager to shake up the art world when they produced their seminal works.”>Jasper Johns is one of the artists featured at the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit called Long Run. 

Each work, made after 1970, was done by an artist who was at least 45, although many were older. Included in the exhibit are works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Bourgeois, Melvin Edwards, Gerhard Richter, Frank Stella, and many others.

Many artists, like Jasper Johns, were young and hungry and eager to shake up the art world when they produced their seminal works.

Johns painted Flag, his best known work, in 1954, when he was just 24 years old. His early works bridged the gap between abstract expressionism and the movements that followed like Pop, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. The early works also set auction records for prices paid for work done by a living artist.At age 87, Johns is still working and continues to perfect his techniques.

Jasper Johns as Printmaker

Johns began making prints in 1960 and has continued to produce prints throughout his career, often repeating objects, numbers and symbols that that give his work an iconic familiarity.

He didn’t just make prints of his paintings, but also make paintings from his prints. Johns’ experiments with lithography have allowed him to reinvent his existing images.

His process of using several colors on the many etched plates required for each of his works allows for a variety of textures and colors in each print.The National Gallery of Art is home to nearly 2,000 of Jasper Johns’ proofs.

Jasper John Prints at VFA

Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were together for six years in the 1950s. During that time they each produced some of their greatest works.

Johns was devastated when they broke up, and used imagery based on The Bridge, a poem written by Hart Crane in the 1930s:

What whisperings of far watches on the main
Relapsing into silence, while time clears
Our lenses, lifts a focus, resurrects
A periscope to glimpse what joys or pain
Our eyes can share or answer – then deflects
Us, shunting to a labyrinth submersed
Where each sees only his dim past reversed…

Crane, who had a history of depression, heavy alcohol use and confusion about his sexuality, committed suicide in 1932, at the age of 32, by jumping from the deck of a steamship sailing back to New York from Mexico. Johns and Rauschenberg put aside their differences, but there was always a sense of rivalry between them. The image of the outstretched hand and periscope recur in many of Johns’ works, like Periscope l, for sale at VFA.

Also available at VFA is Untitled, a work from the Geldzahler Portfolio, which was commissioned in 1998 by the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS as a fundraising initiative, organized by Henry Geldzahler, the first curator of 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum and New York City’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, and an Untitled color intaglio done in 2012, when Johns was 82.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Jasper Johns, or any of the other fine art available at VFA.

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