Focus: Jasper Johns

Dec 5, 2008–Feb 16, 2009


Jasper Johns. Flags II. 1970. Lithograph. Composition: 33 3/8 × 24 1/2″ (84.8 × 62.2 cm); sheet (irreg.): 33 3/8 × 24 1/2″ (84.8 × 62.2 cm). Publisher and printer: Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York. Edition: 9. Gift of the Celeste and Armand Bartos Foundation. © Jasper Johns and U.L.A.E./Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
  • MoMA, Floor 2, Exhibition Galleries The Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries

To celebrate the acquisition of a new series of works on paper by Jasper Johns (American, b. 1930), a selection of his paintings, drawings, and prints, all from the Museum’s collection, will be on view in the Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries. The untitled series from 2001 is based on Johns’s “Catenary” theme, named for the curve formed by a cord hanging between two fixed points. In these thirteen compositions, Johns utilized acrylic, collage, watercolor, and gouache, over aquatint and etching, to layer various motifs and reveal new meanings. The series constitutes a highly illuminating display of the artist’s creative process and will be seen in the context of other works, in a variety of mediums, which demonstrate Johns’s longstanding practice of reinvestigating a repertoire of images, including flags, numerals, cross-hatchings, body parts, and studies of the four seasons.

Organized by Deborah Wye, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator for Prints and Illustrated Books, The Museum of Modern Art.


  • Press release 3 pages


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].