May 18–October 27, 2024


Jasper Johns ID

Green Angel by Jasper JohnsOne of the most renowned and enduring American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has had a career spanning many decades. This exhibition features 14 works on paper by Johns, ranging in date from 1960 to 2021, including six drawings on loan from the artist.

Drawing has been an essential part of Jasper Johns’ artistic practice since the mid-1950s. Printmaking would assume an equally important role in his work, beginning in 1960, when he produced his first lithographs at Universal Limited Art Editions, a print studio on Long Island. His earliest etchings date to 1967. This medium would gradually become his favorite, so much so that he established his own print studio in Connecticut after moving there in 1995.

Works in this display include Two Flags (1960), Figure 2 (1973), and several from The Seasons series (1985–1991). Additionally, it includes works that feature one of his most enigmatic motifs that has recently been a subject of discussion in the art world. The central figure in Green Angel, a colored etching from 1991 that the artist gifted to the Museum, along with related works, in 2006, is a mysterious juxtaposition of shapes that he used in multiple works while never revealing its source of inspiration. In 2021, art critic John Yau published evidence that the Green Angel motif very likely arose from the contours of a sculpture by Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) entitled Torso of the Woman Centaur and Minotaur. Visitors to the Museum will now have the opportunity to see the intriguing Green Angel in a new light, alongside a number of other significant drawings and prints by this iconic artist.


Featured: Jasper Johns, Green Angel, 1991. Etching. Gift of the artist, 2006.135. © 2024 Jasper Johns and ULAE / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, Published by Universal Limited Art Editions.