Jasper Johns will be 86 in May. He is still working and garnering the attention and fascination of curators, art historians, collectors and gallery goers.

A Tribute at Tiffany’s

In the 1950s, Johns and his then partner, Robert Rauschenberg, were commissioned to design window displays for the Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue store in New York. Johns and Rauschenberg did commercial projects under the name Matson Jones Custom Display. The artists designed a series of intriguing window displays for Tiffany that were dramatic, surreal and transformed the art of window display from ho-hum to elegant and exciting.

Tiffany & Co., on New Bond Street in London, has recreated some of Johns’ and Rauschenberg’s most dramatic displays to coincide with the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective, which is at the Tate Modern through April 2017.

A Single Tribute at Two Great Museums

The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art art are jointly putting together a retrospective of Jasper Johns’ work that will look at every aspect of Johns’ 60-year career.

The idea of two museums collaborating on what will be a single, complete exhibit is unprecedented. Johns has created such a large body of work, in both paint and print, that each exhibit will stand on its own and complement the other. The curators hope that visitors will go to both venues for a deeper look and understanding of John’s work.

Independent curator, Judith E. Stein, says that Johns has been a major force in American art. “This is unprecedented,” Stein said. “But that prescient decision was warranted. Johns helped change our definition of art coming out of the period of abstract expressionism and gesture. . . . What his art led to was a new way of seeing, a new way of thinking about art.”

The retrospective is scheduled to open, at both museums simultaneously, in the fall of 2020.

Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch

The influence of Edvard Munch on the works of Jasper Johns is the focus of an exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The show was brought to Richmond from the Munch Museum in Oslo.

Johns first saw Munch’s work when he was twenty, at a 1950 retrospective at MoMA, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that the inspiration of Munch on his work became obvious. It may have been the coming of middle age, the worsening AIDS crisis during those years and the loss of friends that prompted him, but whatever the reason, the resulting works are outstanding.

The show is called Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss, and the Cycle of Life. Johns was especially inspired by Munch’s Self-Portrait Between the Clock and the Bed and used the image and motifs in many of his own works. Although the styles of Munch and Johns are very different, when seen side-by-side, the emotional impact of the works of both artists become clear.

The show runs through February 20, 2017.

Jasper Johns at VFA

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