Flag (1955) by Jasper Johns

Flag - Jasper Johns - 1955

Artwork Information

ArtistJasper Johns
Art MovementPop Art
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About Flag

The artwork titled “Flag” was created by artist Jasper Johns in 1955 and is a seminal piece within the Pop Art movement. Employing a mixed media approach, including encaustic, oil, and collage on canvas, Johns explores the symbolic potential of the American flag. Currently, this influential work is housed in the prestigious collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. The piece is categorized as symbolic painting, reflecting both the artist’s interest in familiar iconography and the broader cultural implications of such imagery.

In the artwork, Jasper Johns presents a rendering of the American flag that transcends its everyday recognition as a national emblem. Many have seen the repetition of the flag in Johns’ work as a commentary on the banality of the symbol due to its ubiquity, as well as an investigation into what the flag genuinely represents in terms of identity, national pride, and ideology. The complexity of the artwork is accentuated by its tactile surface—created through a labor-intensive use of encaustic, a technique involving pigmented wax—which adds depth and intensity to the flag’s iconic stripes and field of stars. When viewed up close, the artwork’s textured surface reveals the intricate collage elements and brushwork, contributing to its dynamic visual presence.

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