Jasper Johns's playful, enigmatic paintings interrogate the very ways in which we see and interpret the world. Beginning in the mid-1950s, Johns eschewed an art cut off from everyday life and made common signs, such as flags and targets, the subject of his work. Riffing on the divergent examples of Dada and Abstract Expressionism, Johns, along with his Neo-Dada collaborator Robert Rauschenberg, created a nuanced art that spoke to notions of autobiography, irreverence, and philosophical engagement.
The reverberations of the work of Jasper Johns affected nearly every artistic movement from the 1950s through the present day. Breaking down the boundaries traditionally separating fine art and everyday life, he effectively laid the foundation for Pop Art's embrace of commodity culture. Additionally, Johns's exploration of semiotics and perception also set the stage for both Conceptual Art and more postmodern interventions in the 1980s, while his multimedia collaborations with John Cage and Merce Cunningham ushered in the dominance of Performance Art in the 1960s and 1970s.