Get Out Of Town!: Jasper Johns At The Broad

By On April 25, 2018

Open through May 13, the Jasper Johns exhibit, “Something Resembling Truth,” provides a thematic look at his development as an artist over his sixty year career. Tickets are still available for the special exhibition at The Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles.

Born in 1930, Johns first garnered notice in the art world for his painting Flag (1954-55), which the Korean War vet created after having a dream about the American flag.

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Jasper Johns’ “Flags” (1968) uses an optical illusion to reproduce the red, white and blue colors of the American flag on the gray field. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Johns’ use of iconic and commonplace symbols such as flags, maps, letters, numbers and targets brought him to the forefront of the neo-Dadaist movement.

His sculptures and collages include everyday items like flashlights, doorknobs, rulers and chalkboards.

The artist still doesn’t like to explain his art. But his comment about focusing on “things the mind already knows” has been included in many an exhibit and profile article over the decades.

According to his own comment on his exhibition of the Flag, Target and Number paintings in 1958, “It all began with my painting a picture of an American flag. Using this design took care of a great deal for me because I didn’t have to design it.”

“So I want on to similar things like the targets, things the mind already knows,” Johns said.

“That gave me room to work on other levels. For instance, I’ve always thought of a painting as a surface; painting it in one color made this very clear… A picture ought to be looked at the same way you look at a radiator.”

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“Numbers in Color” (1959) by Jasper Johns is on view at The Broad Museum. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

He uses familiar symbols and objects portrayed through a variety of techniques and styles including encaustic (heated beeswax), painting, sculpture, graphic arts, printmaking and collage.

The Broad exhibit includes recent works by Johns, in additional to many of his iconic works.

Also on view at The Broad are the museum’s regular collection and the selfie-taking favorite, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013.

An additional Kusama infinity mirrored room, Longing for Eternity, 2017, is also on view.

Access to The Broad’s permanent collection and the infinity rooms are included with the purchase of the Jasper Johns “Something Resembling Truth” special exhibition ticket.

The rooms require a separate signup to reserve a place in line. Information on the process for viewing the rooms can be found here.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

“Target” (1958) by Jasper Johns is one of several recurring images used over the six decades of his artistic life. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)