Known best for his Flag (1954-5) and Map (1961), JASPER JOHNS (born 1930) along with his friend and one-time lover Robert Rauschenberg, applied gestural painting and bold, unblended color to everyday images and objects. Focusing on subjects with meanings so completely familiar and known in the culture that they were basically symbols of themselves, he liberated these objects and images from their iconic confinement — thus freeing Painting from its “vast seriousness” (to sort of paraphrase Fitzgerald) and opening the door to Warhol, deconstruction, humor, and, well, you and me.
On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Mikhail Bulgakov, Melle Mel, James Mason, L. Frank Baum, Andrew Eldritch.
READ MORE about members of the Postmodernist Generation (1924-33).