About the Artist
Note: a brief biography on the artist, contextualized with his life-long relationship to and appreciation of Japanese culture.
Jasper Johns was born in 1930 in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in South Carolina. After three semesters studying art at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, he moved to New York City in late 1948. His engagement with the city’s burgeoning art scene was interrupted when Johns was drafted into the military.
Returning to Japan in 1964, and making frequent visits to the country, he exhibited extensively at Minami Gallery, Tokyo, throughout the 1960s and 70s. By 1979, Johns embarked on a series of paintings, drawings, and prints, titled Usuyuki—meaning “thin or light snow” and inspired by Japanese culture and Kabuki theater. A selection of these Usuyuki works were featured in the gallery’s 2019 presentation, Jasper Johns: Usuyuki, at Fergus McCaffrey, Tokyo. Johns has been the subject of several major retrospective exhibitions in Japan, including: Jasper Johns: A Retrospective
(Whitney Museum, New York, 1977-78; traveled to The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1978), Jasper Johns: A Print Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1986; traveled to three venues in Japan in 1988); The Jasper Johns Print Exhibition (Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1990); and Jasper Johns: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1996–97; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 1997).
Jasper Johns: Eyes in the Persistence of Form is currently on view at Fergus McCaffrey, Tokyo, September 11 through October 16, 2021.
|Jasper Johns: Usuyuki (2019)|
By Roberta Bernstein
Bilingual: English, Japanese
Published by Fergus McCaffrey
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