William Johns Jr
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William Johns Jr

William J. Johns Jr
Born 1930s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private sister (1930s - unknown)] [half] and [half]
[children unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 23 Dec 2009
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Jasper was born in 1930. Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker whose work is associated with abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada, and pop art. He is well known for his depictions of the American flag and other US-related topics. Johns' works regularly sell for millions of dollars at sale and auction, including a reported $110 million sale in 2010. At multiple times works by Johns have held the title of most paid for a work by a living artist.

He is the son of William Jasper Johns, Sr. and Meta Jeanette "Jean" Riley

He does not appear to have ever married nor had children.

Jasper graduated from Edmunds High School in Sumter, S.C. in 1947.

LIVES IN: Sharon, Connecticut

I was born in Augusta, Georgia. I spent my early life in Allendale, South Carolina, with my paternal grandparents after my parents' marriage failed. I then spent a year living with my mother in Columbia, South Carolina, and thereafter I spent several years living with my aunt Gladys in Lake Murray, South Carolina, twenty-two miles from Columbia. I completed Edmunds High School (class of 1947) in Sumter, South Carolina, where I once again lived with my mother.

I studied a total of three semesters at the University of South Carolina, from 1947 to 1948. I then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design in 1949.

In 1952 and 1953 I was stationed in Sendai, Japan, during the Korean War.

In 1954, after returning to New York, I met Robert Rauschenberg. For a time we lived in the same building as Rachel Rosenthal. In the same period I was strongly influenced by Merce Cunningham (a choreographer) and John Cage (a composer). Working together we explored the contemporary art scene, and began developing our ideas on art. In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli discovered me while visiting Rauschenberg's studio. Castelli gave me my first solo show. It was here that Alfred Barr, the founding director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, purchased four works from this show. In 1963, Cage and I founded the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, now known as Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York City.

I currently live in Sharon, Connecticut, and on the Island of Saint Martin. Until 2012, I lived in a rustic 1930s farmhouse with a glass-walled studio in Stony Point, New York. I first began visiting St. Martin in the late 1960s and bought the property there in 1972. The architect Philip Johnson is the principal designer of my home, a long, white, rectangular structure divided into three distinct sections.

I am best known for my painting "Flag" (1954-55), which I painted after having a dream of the American flag.

My early works were composed using simple schema such as flags, maps, targets, letters and numbers. My treatment of the surface is often lush and painterly; I am famous for incorporating such media as encaustic and plaster relief in my paintings. I have played with and presented opposites, contradictions, paradoxes, and ironies, much like Marcel Duchamp (who was associated with the Dada movement). I have also produced intaglio prints, sculptures and lithographs with similar motifs.

In 1964, architect Philip Johnson, a friend, commissioned me to make a piece for what is now the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Centre. After presiding over the theatre's lobby for 35 years, "Numbers" (1964), an enormous 9-foot-by-7-foot grid of numerals, was supposed to be sold by the center for a reported $15 million.

In 1998, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought my "White Flag". While the Museum would not disclose how much was paid, The New York Times reported that "experts estimate [the painting's] value at more than $20 million." The National Gallery of Art acquired about 1,700 of my proofs in 2007. This made the gallery home to the largest number of my works held by a single institution. The exhibition showed works from many points in my career, including recent proofs of my prints. The Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina, has several of my pieces in their permanent collection.

I was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1984. In 1990, I was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

On February 15, 2011 I received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, becoming the first painter or sculptor to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom since Alexander Calder in 1977. In 1990 I was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1994.

Since the 1980s, I typically produce only four to five paintings a year; some years I produces none. My large-scale paintings are much favored by collectors and because of their rarity are extremely difficult to acquire. My works from the mid to late 1950s, typically viewed as my period of rebellion against abstract expressionism, remain my most sought after. Skate's Art Market Research (Skate Press, Ltd.), a New York based advisory firm servicing private and institutional investors in the art market, has ranked me as the 30th most valuable artist in the world. The firm's index of the 1,000 most valuable works of art sold at auction, Skate's Top 1000, contains 7 works by me.

In 1980 the Whitney Museum of American Art paid $1 million for "Three Flags" (1958), then the highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist.

In 1988, my "False Start" was sold at auction at Sotheby's to Samuel I. Newhouse, Jr. for $17.05 million, setting a record at the time as the highest price paid for a work by a living artist at auction, and the second highest price paid for an artwork at auction in the U.S.

In 2006, private collectors Anne and Kenneth Griffin (founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel LLC) bought "False Start" (1959) from David Geffen for $80 million, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.

On November 11, 2014, a 1983 version of "Flag" was auctioned at Sotheby's in New York for $36 million, establishing a new auction record for me.



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Johns-5277 and Johns-7 appear to represent the same person because: Both profiles clearly represent the same person. Please merge.
posted by Scott Fulkerson

This week's featured connections are Baseball Legends: William is 36 degrees from Willie Mays, 22 degrees from Ernie Banks, 17 degrees from Ty Cobb, 21 degrees from Bob Feller, 21 degrees from Lou Gehrig, 31 degrees from Josh Gibson, 20 degrees from Joe Jackson, 28 degrees from Ferguson Jenkins, 23 degrees from Mamie Livingston, 18 degrees from Mickey Mantle, 16 degrees from Tris Speaker and 23 degrees from Helen St. Aubin on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.

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