One of modern art’s greatest painters and arguably America’s greatest living artist, Jasper Johns is a giant of the contemporary art world. Recently on the eve of “JasperJohns: Something Resembling Truth,” a massive new exhibition of his work at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Johns was interviewed by the New York Times. As he has explained in previous interviews, he doesn’t like offering explanations of what his artwork means. The Times article underscored his sentiments and revealed John’s jokey side with what is now one of our favorite quotes.
Mr. Johns himself is loath to offer biographical interpretations of his work — or any interpretations, for that matter. He is famously elusive and his humor tends toward the sardonic. He once joked that, of the dozens of books that have been written about his art, his favorite one was written in Japanese. What he liked is that he could not understand it.
Massively influential Chinese artist Zao Wou Ki died in Switzerland earlier this month at the age of 92, though we just found out about his passing now. Born and raised in China, Zao later studied and launched his career in Paris and became one of the important voices in establishing Europe’s avant-garde. He was also the biggest-selling living Chinese artist, and in recent years one of the biggest-selling artists in the world, as the New York Times obituary points out:
Mr. Zao’s paintings, which are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and the Tate Modern, among others, have sold at auction in recent years for between $1 million and $2 million each. Since 2011, when sales of his paintings totaled $90 million, art journals and art dealers have frequently referred to him as the top-selling living Chinese artist.
Below is the Getty photo the New York Times photo published with the obituary. (Thanks, Ryan, for the tip!)