GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When Jasper John’s flag and target paintings made their debut in 1958, they gave him instant acclaim and made him a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. This fall, the Grand Rapids Art Museum will give viewers a glimpse into that world through the first major exhibition of Jasper Johns prints in two decades.
Starting October 2nd and running through January 8th, 2022, the GRAM presents, An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960-2018. Museum-goers will be treated to six decades of Johns’ practice in printmaking through a selection of 90 works in a wide range of techniques.
Over the last six decades, since Johns’s work debuted, he has continued to grab the eyes and minds of viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints. His work has grown to include objects found in the studio, abstract patterns from the environment, souvenirs from his childhood and quotations from his own and others’ artwork.
“An Art of Changes invites guests to engage with one of the most inventive minds in 20th-century art,” GRAM Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen said. “I look forward to welcoming our members and guests to immerse themselves in the rich range of Jasper Johns’ beautiful, thought-provoking prints.”
The exhibition follows Johns’ deep fascination with printmaking chronologically as he reconsiders and revises his work over time. It is organized in four thematic sections: Signs & Systems, In the Studio, Surfaces, and Traces. The museum will have examples of Johns’s recognizable flags, targets, and numerals along with images that incorporate the tools, materials, and techniques of mark-making; abstract works derived from images of flagstones and hatch marks; and more recent works, full of autobiographical and personal imagery.
“An Art of Changes is one of the most beautiful exhibitions I have seen at GRAM,” GRAM Chief Curator Ron Platt said. “Making prints was just as important to Johns as making paintings, and over his long career he mastered the full range of printmaking processes and materials. Johns is rightly known as a deep thinker, but this exhibition proves how much he also loved working with different materials and processes to create works that dazzle the eye.”
GRAM members and their guests are invited to a Member Exhibition Opening on Friday, October 1st from 5-8 p.m. at the GRAM. Members can explore the galleries and learn more about the Johns prints from knowledgeable instructors. Register in advance, here.
GRAM members and the general public can take part in several programs and events related to the exhibition over the next four months. There will be GRAM Studio workshops for a variety of ages, gallery chats, and drop-in tours. All Museum visitor guidelines must be followed.