Jasper Johns exhibit opening at The Broad museum in LA

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The Broad is hosting an exhibit of work by artist Jasper Johns.

The first major U.S. exhibit of artist Jasper Johns in 20 years opens at The Broad Saturday.

It's called, "Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth." The artist made icons of American flag paintings, maps, targets and numbers.

More than 120 of Johns' important paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings are on display.

Broad founding director Joanne Heyler described how influential Johns is: "I'm not sure you can overstate it. He is one of the most influential artists of the last century, anywhere."

Johns, who changed the world of contemporary art in the mid-century, is 87 now and continues to paint at home in Connecticut.

In a 2006 interview, Johns said "Yet, one hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work."

That quote inspired the show title.

"Something Resembling Truth" begins with a gallery focused on Johns' interpretations of the American flag. It includes "Three Flags" painted in 1958 and on rare loan from New York's Whitney Museum of Art.

The artist said the first flag image came to him in a dream in 1954, and that dream has produced some of his most iconic work.

There is a lot to take in from the exhibition. Seven pieces are from The Broad collection.

For Eli and Edythe Broad, the exhibition is personal.

Said Heyler: "Jasper Johns is one of the first contemporary artists that they collected at all. There was a Jasper Johns painting they bought in 1978 that kicked off their true passion for contemporary art."

The exhibit was organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in London in collaboration with The Broad. This is the only museum in the United States where you will see it.

Adult ticket prices are $25. First Thursdays each month are free between 4 and 7 p.m. via standby admission (March 1, April 3 and May 1). It runs Feb. 10 through May 13.
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