Painter Jasper Johns
(American, b.1930) was born in Georgia and attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York City in his 20s. In New York, he met artist Robert Rauschenberg
(American, 1925–2008), choreographer Merce Cunningham, and composer John Cage, all of whom profoundly influenced each other. In 1958, Johns entered the public eye when dealer Leo Castelli visited Rauschenberg’s adjacent studio; Johns was awarded a show at Castelli
’s gallery, which then lead to his first sale at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Famous for his paintings of flags
, maps, and numbers
, Johns painted seemingly mundane but powerful symbols in a variety of media, such as oil, encaustic, ink, pencil, collage, and relief. Though Johns is sometimes labeled Neo-Dada or the father of Pop Art, his work displays a deep concern with questions of representation and the nature of mark-making within art.