Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Broad Museum Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth' on view til May 13, 2018

Photos by Karen Ostlund

 The exhibit features Jasper John's work in more than 50 year and 120 rarely loaned artworks from 60 public and private collections.The artist is today 88 years old and lives and works in Sharon, Connecticut.

Stroll down for events, Feb.28-April 4 2018.
LOS ANGELES, CAJasper Johns is an artist of unparalleled importance in the last century and known for his iconic early images of flags, targets, maps and numbers. In the first full survey of his work in more than 50 years in Southern California, The Broad Museum is presenting six decades of rarely loaned artworks from Johns’ remarkable and inventive careermany never before seen in Los Angeles. Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’, a collaboration with the Royal Academy, London, will be on view from Feb. 10 until May 13, 2018. The exhibition is sponsored by Louis Vuitton. 
Three Flags 1958 by Jasper Johns
 Tickets are $25 for adults, free for children 17 and under, and will include same-day general admission for The Broad’s third floor galleries. In celebration of this rare opportunity to consider Johns’ entire career in depth, The Broad will host free First Thursdays with free standby admission to the special exhibition from 4-7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month during the exhibition’s run (Mar. 1, Apr. 5 and May 3, 2018). Through The Broad’s Art+Story and Art+Rhyme programs, in partnership with 826LA, the museum will be hosting dozens of school groups, in grades six through twelve, for free. 
Target 1992

The Broad is also working with universities to provide discounted access for student groups. The Broad’s third floor galleries will continue to be  free general admission tickets, and will show a robust selection of postwar and contemporary works from the Broad collection. 

Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth’ will feature more than 120 of the artist’s most significant paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. With loans from dozens of museums and private collections from around the world, including significant works from the Broad collection, the exhibition will trace the evolution of the artist’s wide-ranging practice through a series of thematic chapters. The exhibition encompasses the full range of Johns’ materials, motifs and techniquesincluding his unique use of en-caustic (heated beeswax) and found-material collage in paintingsand the innovations he has achieved in sculpture and the graphic arts by expanding the possibilities of traditional media. Johns’ use of accessible images will be thoroughly examined, seen continually transformed through the artist’s engagement with a wide range of human experiences. In a departure from a retrospective approach, Johns’ artistic achievements will be illuminated through the juxtaposition of early and late works throughout the exhibition.
Numbers 2007 Jasper Johns
 The Broad will be launching a diverse slate of public programming to be presented in conjunction with the special exhibition. Encompassing music, performance, dance, poetry and live discussion, the programs will explore the artists and art forms that inspired Johns and some of his most important works, providing a richer understanding of the iconic American artist who has inspired generations of artists practicing in Los Angeles and around the world.
Ventriloquist 1983 Jasper Johns

One of the most influential and important artists to emerge in the last century, Johns has been seminal to the Broad collection. 
His work emerged with and has influenced numerous other Broad collection artists represented in depth, including Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Sherrie Levine. 
Field Painting 1963 Jasper Johns
 About the Exhibition
Organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with The Broad, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ is curated by Edith Devaney, contemporary curator at the Royal Academy, and independent curator Dr. Roberta Bernstein, author of Jasper Johns’ Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Sculpture, who has written and lectured extensively on contemporary artists including Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Rauschenberg. Founding Director Joanne Heyler and Associate Curator Ed Schad are the host curators at The Broad. The exhibition title is taken from a 2006 interview in which Johns said, “Yet, one hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work.” 
Myself next to Target 1961 Jasper Johns
 At The Broad, Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will begin with an entire gallery devoted to Johns’ complex treatment of the American flag, arguably his best-known image, deployed famously at the outset of his career in the 1950s as testing ground for a new direction for 20th century art, and for decades afterward.
Works exclusive to The Broad’s presentation of the exhibition include Figure 7, 1955 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art); Three Flags, 1958 (The Whitney Museum of Art, New York); White Target, 1958 (private collection); In memory of my feelings, Frank O’Hara, 1961 (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago); Device, 1962 (Baltimore Museum of Art); Gray Alphabets, 1956 (The Menil Collection); Figure 5, 1960 (Centre Pompidou); and Flags, 1965 (Collection of the artist). Other highlights include Flag, 1958 (private collection); 0 Through 9, 1961 (private collection); Target, 1961 (The Art Institute of Chicago); Periscope (Hart Crane), 1963 (The Menil Collection, on loan from the artist); Between the Clock and the Bed, 1981 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C); Ventriloquist, 1983 (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston); Summer, 1985 (Museum of Modern Art, New York); and Bridge, 1997 (private collection). 
False Start 1959

The exhibition will reveal the continuities and changes in Johns’ work throughout his career. His use of accessible and familiar motifs established a new vocabulary in painting as early as the 1950shis treatment of iconography and the appropriation of objects and symbols made the familiar seem unknown through the distinctive, complex textures of his works. Through his groundbreaking paintings and sculptures, Johns charted a radical new course in an art world that had previously been dominated by Abstract Expressionism. 
Watchman 1964
 In the 1960s, he added devices within his works, including studio objects, imprints and casts of the human figure, while works from the 1970s are dominated by abstract ‘crosshatching.’ During this time, Johns began to explore printmaking and is now one of the most celebrated print makers today. His work continued to evolve throughout the 1980s as he introduced a variety of images that engaged with themes involving memory, sexuality and the contemplation of mortality. From this time, Johns increasingly incorporated tracings and details of works by other artists, such as Matthias Grünewald, Pablo Picasso and Edvard Munch. The works of the 1990s built on the increasing complexity of subject and reference, and by the early 2000s, Johns had embarked on the pared down and more conceptual Catenary series which, along with other recent works, shows the rich productivity and vitality of this late phase of his career. 
Nines 2006 Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ brings together artworks that rarely travel, including significant loans from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute, Chicago; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition, the artist has generously loaned a number of his works to the exhibition. 

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue featuring writings by the curators Devaney and Bernstein, as well as essays from curator and critic Robert Storr, art historian Hiroko Ikegami and writer Morgan Meis. The contributing authors will discuss Johns’ extensive body of work from viewpoints of literature, contemporary culture and international significance. 

Wednesday, Feb. 28 | Wednesday, Mar. 14 | Wednesday, Apr. 18 | 8 p.m.
Location: Lobby and Oculus Hall at The Broad
Tickets: $25 (includes one-time return to
Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ anytime during regular museum hours)

“Of course, painters were a large and important part of Merce’s audience. The music was one of the strong attractions for them. I thought of John as a sort of teacher/preacher/soldier. His curiosity seemed wide-ranging and athletic, and he was able to connect his work to other fields of thoughtto nature, philosophy, science and whatnot. He was generous in his willingness to explain these connections and seemed happy to convince others of the usefulness of his ideas...I think many of us felt that ideas in one medium could trigger ideas in another mediumand that mediums could be mixed in new ways.” —Jasper Johns, quoted in The Fabric of Friendship,” from John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns: Dancers on a Plane by Susan Sontag 

Inspired by Johns’ collaborative and fruitful friendships with composer John Cage and choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham, The Broad will present three evenings of music, voice and dance films programmed with live accompaniment and Fluxus performances, demonstrating the close friendships between the three artists and the influence they played on each other’s creative practice. Co-curated and performed by pianist Adam Tendler, the series will also feature legendary vocalist Joan La Barbara, renowned for developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques which have influenced generations of other composers and singers. 

Wednesday, Feb. 28 | 8 p.m. | Incidents and Echoes: Jasper Johns and John Cage Performed by pianist Adam Tendler
In this program, each of the musical compositions by Cage shares the same title as a painting in Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’, or has a close connection to Johns. These compositions are emblematic of the friendship between Johns and Cage, and how integral each one’s artwork was to the other.
  • “Suite for Toy Piano” by John Cage
  • “The Perilous Night” (prepared piano) by John Cage
  • “Winter Music” by John Cage
  • “Music for Piano 1, 2, 3” by John Cage (with Merce Cunningham dance video
  • “The Seasons” by John Cage
  • “In a Landscape” by John Cage 

    Wednesday, Mar. 14 | 8 p.m. | Usuyuki: Johns in Japan Performed by pianist Adam Tendler
    Japanese culture and philosophy is a significant influence on Johns’ work. Usuyuki is the Japanese word for “light snow.” It also suggests the idea that something disappears as it is made visible, just as a snowflake melts when it hits the ground. The fleeting nature of existence is a recurring theme in Johns’ paintings, and one that Johns explored during his time in Japan. The works in this program are ones that reflect Japan’s influence on Cage and Johns, and includes compositions and Fluxus performance pieces that were taking place in Japan when Johns visited the country. 

  • “Seven Haiku” by John Cage
  • “Music for Piano” by Toshi Ichiyanagi
  • “Piano Distance” by Toru Takemitsu
  • “Corona” by Toru Takemitsu
  • Fluxus Performance Pieces
o “Lighting Piece” Yoko Ono
o “Distance for Piano” Takehisa Kosugi
o “Dragging Suite” Nam June Paik
o “Wall Piece for Orchestra to Yoko Ono” Yoko Ono o “Portrait Piece” Mieko Shiomi
o “0'00"” John Cage

  • “Electronic Music for Piano” by John Cage
  • “Cheap Imitation” by John Cage (with “Second Hand,a video from the Merce
    Cunningham Dance Company)
    Wednesday, Apr. 18 | 8 p.m. | Impresarios, Inc. Program Performed by pianist Adam Tendler with vocalist Joan La Barbara
    In 1958, with Emile de Antonio and Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns formed Impresarios, Inc., which sponsored two performances of new music and dance in New York. All of the works in this program reflect the close collaboration and inter-relationships of Johns with Cage and Cunningham, or were performed at the Impresarios, Inc. events, most notably at the now- legendary John Cage 25-Year Retrospective at Town Hall in New York City that took place on May 15, 1958.

  • “RainForest” by David Tudor
  • “Sonatas and Interludes (Parts 1 & 2)” by John Cage
  • “For Piano 1” by Christian Wolff
  • “Three Pieces for Piano” by Morton Feldman
  • “Telephones and Birds” by John Cage, accompanied by vocalist Joan La Barbara
  • “Concert for piano + Aria + Fontana Mix” by John Cage, accompanied by vocalist Joan
    La Barbara
  • “Dream” by John Cage 

    Unfolding Language Literary Series
    Thursday, Mar. 22 and Thursday, Apr. 12 | 7:30 p.m.
    Location: Oculus Hall at The Broad
    Tickets: $15 (reading only); $30 (includes admission to reading and one-time return to
    Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ anytime during regular museum hours) Co-presented by ALOUD

    The Broad and The Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ ALOUD will explore the centrality of authors and poets to Johns’ creative practice by presenting two evenings of readings by contemporary authors, who will present verses from Johns’ literary muses, including Samuel Beckett, Ted Berrigan, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara, and Herman Melville, as well as read from their own work, inspired by the writers who are vital to Johns’ artwork.
    Thursday, Mar. 22 | 7:30 p.m.
Featuring Rigoberto González, Chris Kraus and Douglas Kearney. Gonzalez will read from and respond to poet Hart Crane; Kraus will read from and respond to writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline; and Kearney will read from and respond to writer Samuel Beckett.
Thursday, Apr. 12 | 7:30 p.m.
Featuring Hanif Abdurraqib, Brendan Constantine and Amy Gerstler. Abdurraqib will read from and respond to poet Frank O’Hara; Constantine will read from and respond to writer Herman Melville; and Amy Gerstler will read from and respond to poet Ted Berrigan.
USC Poetry Reading Jasper Johns: A Tour of the Imagination Wednesday, Apr. 4 | 8:30 p.m.
Location: The Broad galleries
Tickets: $10

In partnership with USC
Organized by award-winning poet Carol Muske-Dukes, professor of English at the University of Southern California, this special one-night public reading is The Broad's contribution to National Poetry Month. As part of a USC graduate course entitled A Tour of the Imagination,each of Muske-Dukes' current PhD students will read poetry that they have crafted. The reading will be the consummation of an ongoing collaborative process between image and word; these poets will have earlier chosen one work of art from Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’, then spent hours in conversation” with their artwork selection to compose their poems. The evening's final reading will be an ensemble effort in the form of a “crown of sonnetsin response to one of Johns’ works on view.
Student Participants:
  • Vanessa Villarreal
    Sara Fetherolf
  • Stephanie Horvath
  • Katharine Ogle
  • Catherine Pond
  • Essy Stone
  • Katrin Tschirgi
About the Artist
Jasper Johns was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1930 and raised in South Carolina. He moved to New York in 1948 and returned in 1953 after two years of service in the U.S. Army. Johns’ works became widely known after his first solo exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1958. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with an array of other artists, including visual artists Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, playwright Samuel Beckett and choreographer Merce Cunningham, serving as artistic advisor to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for over a decade. The artist currently lives and works in Sharon, Conn. 

Johns has held solo exhibitions throughout the world at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Kunstmuseum Basel; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Johns won the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale in 1988, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. 

About The Broad
The Broad is a contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the museum offers free general admission. The Broad is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide, and presents an active program of rotating temporary exhibitions and innovative audience engagement. The 120,000-square-foot building features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library, which has actively loaned collection works to museums around the world since 1984. Since opening in September 2015, The Broad has welcomed more than 1.7 million visitors.
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