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Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965

January 28 – April 29, 2007
East Building, Upper Level and Mezzanine, Northeast, and Upper Level, North Bridge

Jasper Johns, Skin with O'Hara Poem, 1963/1965, lithograph (stone) in 2 blacks on KE Albanene Engineer Standard Form paper, Gift of the Woodward Foundation, Washington, D.C. Published by Universal Limited Art Editions © Jasper Johns and U.L.A.E./Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. 1976.56.71

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 83 paintings, drawings, and prints from the first decade of Jasper Johns' career were presented in this exhibition, which included works from the National Gallery of Art and loans from the artist and public and private collections. The exhibition focused on four related motifs in the artist's early works: the target, the mechanical "device" (the arm of a compass used to inscribe or scrape a circle), the stenciled naming of colors, and the cast or imprint of the body. This was the first exhibition of the artist's paintings in which these motifs and their relationships had been explored.

The exhibition curator presented an introductory lecture on February 11. Other public programs presented in association with this and the related exhibition States and Variations: Prints by Jasper Johns included an auditorium lecture series during March, a special film program of documentaries about Johns and his collaborations with musicians on March 10, and a public symposium on April 28. Education programs included high school and teacher workshops. Sunday concerts in February featured the work of composer John Cage and other contemporaries of Jasper Johns.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The curator was Jeffrey Weiss, head of the department of modern and contemporary art.

Sponsor: The exhibition was sponsored by Target. It was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Attendance: 98,314

Catalog: Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955–1965 by Jeffrey Weiss, with John Elderfield et al. Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2007.

Brochure: Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955–1965, by Jeffrey Weiss. Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, 2007.

Other Venues: Kunstmuseum Basel, June 2–September 9, 2007
Musee d'Orsay, May 26–September 7, 2008

Johns, Jasper
American, 1930 -
States and Variations: Prints by Jasper Johns
March 11 – October 28, 2007
Press Event: Jasper Johns: An Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965
Audio, Released: January 23, 2007, (13:58 minutes)