Landscape of Signs
Museum Paper due on Blackboard!












Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954 - 1955.











patriotic = having or expressing devotion to and vigorours support for one's country
Alberto Vargas American Pin-Up
German Pin-Up











encaustic = a painting medium in which pigment is suspended in hot wax

Jasper Johns, Flag (detail),  1954-1955.
Jasper Johns in his studio with Flag





















Why is this a work of art?
Why is this a flag?
The critic Robert Rosenblum asked of Flag, "Is it blasphemous or respectful, simple-minded or recondite?"
In 1958, Alaska and Hawaii became states, making this flag obsolete
Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954 - 1955.











"[Johns'] Flag is full of stories. Under its soft, waxy, rough-smooth surface are headlines and stories clipped out of newspapers, barely visible in reproduction. In the gallery, the stories are dimly read through ghostly suspensions of white between the red bars. Their spectral presence suggests that under the surface of the flag's simple iconic presence are complicated lives, happenings and secrets. The simple banner conceals untold possibilities. For us, looking at this Flag may be a reminder of what ought to be obvious: that nations, like individuals, cannot be summed up easily." - John Sheridan
Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1954 - 1955.
Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1954 - 1955.





















Fourth of July Jay New York

Jasper Johns, Three Flag, 1958.
Robert Frank, Fourth of July - Jay, New York, 1955-1956.












semiotics = the study of signs, symbols and how meaning is constructed

Numbers in Colour

Signifier (image or word) + signified (concept, object or emotion) = sign (whole)
 "a - p - p - l - e" + apple= apple
Relationship between the signifier and the signified is conventional – it is always dependent on social and cultural conventions
Therefore, the relationship between the signifier and the signified (the sign) is always arbitrary

Jasper Johns, Numbers in Colour, 1959.








Semiotics for Beginners











White Flag

Jasper Johns, White Flag, 1955.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art bought White Flag for $20 millon, purchased directly from the artist, in 1998.











White Flag

Jasper Johns, White Flag (detail), 1955.











Jasper Johns, False Start, 1959.
Jasper Johns, 0 through 9, 1960. 72 X 54 inches.