Royal Academy of Arts
23 September-10 October 2017
The Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of the Honorary Royal Academician, Jasper Johns. Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to be held in the UK in 40 years. The exhibition comprises over 150 works including sculpture, drawings and prints, together with new work from the artist. Johns is recognised as one of the most significant and influential artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the exhibition will span over 60 years from his early career, right up to the present time.
Widely known for his iconic images of flags, targets, numbers, maps and light bulbs, Johns has occupied a central position in American contemporary art since his arrival in New York in the 1950s. By 1955 his use of accessible and familiar motifs established a new vocabulary in painting. Johns’ treatment of iconography and the appropriation of objects and symbols made the familiar unfamiliar, achieving this through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his ground-breaking paintings and sculptures, Johns established a decisive new direction in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism.
Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ reveals the continuities and changes that have occurred over the past six decades, and the curiosity and experimentation that Johns continues to apply to his current practice. The exhibition is arranged thematically, encompassing the full range of Johns’ materials, motifs and techniques including his unique use of encaustic (heated beeswax) and collage in paintings, and the innovations he has achieved in sculpture and the graphic arts by expanding the possibilities of traditional media. The title of the exhibition comes from a statement by Johns in 2006: ‘One hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work.’