Two Flags (Whitney Anniversary) (ULAE 207) (1980) by Jasper Johns

Two Flags (Whitney Anniversary) (ULAE 207) - Jasper Johns - 1980

Artwork Information

TitleTwo Flags (Whitney Anniversary) (ULAE 207)
ArtistJasper Johns
Art MovementPop Art

About Two Flags (Whitney Anniversary) (ULAE 207)

“Two Flags (Whitney Anniversary) (ULAE 207)” is an artwork by Jasper Johns, created in 1980 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Whitney Museum of American Art. As a piece influenced by the Pop Art movement, this poster encapsulates the genre with its use of iconic American imagery and text, melding the realms of high art and popular culture.

The artwork features two American flags rendered one above the other against an off-white background. The flags take center stage on the canvas, displaying their familiar stars and stripes in the traditional red, white, and blue. However, the lower flag’s field of stars is inverted, placed on the bottom left rather than the top left, distinguishing the two depictions and inviting contemplation about their arrangement and symbolism.

Beneath the flags, text in a bold, serif font announces the occasion for which the artwork was created: “1980 The 50th Anniversary of the Whitney Museum of American Art.” The text not only contextualizes the work but also plays an integral role in its visual composition, grounding the flags with a historical and cultural reference point. Overall, the artwork is emblematic of Jasper Johns’ interest in familiar symbols, his exploration of repetition and variation, and the ability of art to communicate layered meanings through such iconic visual forms.

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