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The Broad Museum Finalizes Plans For A Major Jasper Johns Exhibit Early Next Year

"Three Flags" by Jasper Johns. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
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Los Angeles' Broad Museum has announced plans to host a sweeping Jasper Johns exhibit early next year. Johns, who is considered one of the most important living artists, is a painter, sculptor and printmaker best-known for his flag paintings. The exhibit will be the first major retrospective of Johns' work ever shown in L.A., and the first Johns' survey show in L.A. since the artist's seminal 1965 Pasadena Museum of Art exhibition. The exhibition will trace the evolution of the artist’s six-decade career through a series of thematic chapters, according to a statement from the Broad.

The exhibit will be mounted in collaboration with London's Royal Academy of Arts, where a similar retrospective will be on view from late September through early December 2017. The New York Times reports that the Broad will be the exhibit's sole U.S. venue. To New York Times art writer Jori Finkel, the newly announced exhibit signals a potential answer to a favorite L.A. dinner party question: what exactly does the Broad plan to do with itself, beyond exhibiting Eli and Edythe Broad's (unquestionably first-rate) collection. "Now the museum’s commitment to hosting traveling exhibitions from other institutions to refresh its own program is becoming clearer," Finkel writes. She also cites the Broad's forthcoming Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Rooms” survey, which originated at Washington D.C.'s the Hirshhorn Museum.

"Hosting traveling shows makes sense for the Broad," according to Finkel. "It has a lean curatorial staff but the back-end expertise and the art-world clout needed to secure first-rate loans."

However, according to Broad spokesman Lauren Girard, the museum will actually be presenting their own iteration of the London retrospective, with significant works unique to their presentation. “Johns’ work is central to understanding contemporary American art. We viewed it as critically important to offer this in-depth and landmark exhibition to the public, particularly in Los Angeles where his work is not seen often enough," Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad said.

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The Broads are clearly longtime fans of Johns, as evidenced by the extensive selection of his work already in their collection. “Edye and I have admired the work of Jasper Johns for decades,” Eli Broad said in a statement. “His work is essential to our collection and to contemporary art as a whole, and we are pleased to be able to share this exhibition with visitors from Los Angeles and around the world.”

Jasper Johns: "Something Resembling Truth" will be on view at The Broad from February 10, 2018 through May 13, 2018. The Broadis located at 221 S. Grand Avenue in downtown, (213) 232-6200.