In an unprecedented collaboration, this major exhibition is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art October 28, 2020 – February 21, 2021
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and NYC & Company recently unveiled highlights of their arts and culture scenes for 2020, including the announcement of an unprecedented retrospective from the American abstract expressionism artist Jasper Johns at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The two-venue exhibition from Jasper Johns, an American painter, sculptor and printmaker well-known for his various depictions of the American flag and other US-related topics will feature a large body of work with many objects shown publicly for the first time. The two exhibitions – one in Philadelphia and one in New York City – are designed to be reflections of one another and can be viewed individually or together for an immersive and innovative exploration of Johns’ work. A visit to one museum or the other will provide a vivid chronological survey; a visit to both will offer an innovative and immersive exploration of the many phases, facets and masterworks of Johns’ still-evolving career.
Filling almost 30,000 combined square feet across the two venues, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Conceived around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, this two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.
Since the early 1950s, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has produced a radical and varied body of work distinguished by constant reinvention. In his twenties, Johns created his now-canonical Flag (1954–55), which challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism by integrating abstraction and representation through its direct, though painterly, deadpan visual power. His works have continued to pose similar paradoxes—between cognition and perception, image and object, painting and sculpture—and have explored new approaches to abstraction and figuration that have opened up perspectives for several generations of younger artists. Over the course of his career, he has tirelessly pursued an innovative body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, books, and the design of sets and costumes for the stage.
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
NYC & Company
The Whitney Museum of American Art