Jasper Johns - Flag 1954

Jasper Johns Flag 1954

Flag 1954
107x153cm encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, three panels
Sold for: USD 110.0 million
Auction house: Private sale, estimated price
Sale date: March 2010
Seller: Jean-Christophe Castelli
Buyer: Steven A. Cohen

From The Museum of Modern Art New York:
“One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag,” Johns has said of this work, “and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.” Those materials included three canvases that he mounted on plywood, strips of newspaper, and encaustic paint—a mixture of pigment and molten wax that has formed a surface of lumps and smears. The newspaper scraps visible beneath the stripes and forty-eight stars lend this icon historical specificity. The American flag is something “the mind already knows,” Johns has said, but its execution complicates the representation and invites close inspection.