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Two Flags (Whitney Museum of American Art 50th Anniversary)

Two Flags (Whitney Museum of American Art 50th Anniversary), 1980 by Jasper Johns is an original lithograph featuring two American Flags in their iconic red, white, and blues.  This print is signed and dated in the lower right and numbered in the lower left.

In 1980 the Whitney Museum of American Art received Jasper Johns’ iconic encaustic painting Three Flags (1958) as a gift for their 50th anniversary. For his commemorative print, the artist appropriately returned to the flag as a subject. In this work, Johns demonstrates why he is one of the 20th-century’s master printmakers by doubling the flag to call attention to the variations in his handling, such as different brushstrokes and drops of tusche–a greasy liquid used to create a painterly quality in prints.

Title

Two Flags (Whitney Museum of American Art 50th Anniversary)

Medium

Lithograph

Year

1980

Edition

51

Signature

Signed, dated, numbered

Size 46 x 30 (in)
117 x 76 (cm)
Price Price on Request
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Description

Two Flags (Whitney Museum of American Art 50th Anniversary), 1980 by Jasper Johns is an original lithograph featuring two American Flags in their iconic red, white, and blues.  This print is signed and dated in the lower right and numbered in the lower left.

In 1980 the Whitney Museum of American Art received Jasper Johns’ iconic encaustic painting Three Flags (1958) as a gift for their 50th anniversary. For his commemorative print, the artist appropriately returned to the flag as a subject. In this work, Johns demonstrates why he is one of the 20th-century’s master printmakers by doubling the flag to call attention to the variations in his handling, such as different brushstrokes and drops of tusche–a greasy liquid used to create a painterly quality in prints.

“One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag,” Johns has said of this work, “and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.” Those materials included three canvases that he mounted on plywood, strips of newspaper, and encaustic paint—a mixture of pigment and molten wax that has formed a surface of lumps and smears. The newspaper scraps visible beneath the stripes and forty-eight stars lend this icon historical specificity. The American flag is something “the mind already knows,” Johns has said, but its execution complicates the representation and invites close inspection. A critic of the time encapsulated this painting’s ambivalence, asking, “Is this a flag or a painting?”

Two Flags (Whitney Museum of American Art 50th Anniversary)

Additional information

Title

Two Flags (Whitney Museum of American Art 50th Anniversary)

Medium

Lithograph

Year

1980

Edition

51

Signature

Signed, dated, numbered

Size 46 x 30 (in)
117 x 76 (cm)
Price Price on Request