The Insistent Image:
Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns
CHARLESTON, SC – The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art celebrates its 30th Anniversary with an exhibition by Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns – two world-renowned artists, spanning two generations, both originally from South Carolina. The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns features new work by Shepard Fairey and a survey of prints from 1982 to 2012 by Jasper Johns. The exhibition is curated by Mark Sloan, senior curator and director of the Halsey Institute.
Born in Charleston, S.C. this will be Shepard Fairey’s first major exhibition in Charleston. According to Fairey, his new body of work called “Power & Glory” is a celebration and critique of Americana with an emphasis on the meanings of power. Fossil fuels and their accompanying oil and gas iconography are explored as symbols of what literally and metaphorically drives America in ways both good and bad.” He will be showing a group of paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and screen prints within the main gallery space at the Halsey Institute. He will also be creating a series of large-scale public murals in locations throughout downtown Charleston to be announced. These murals will relate thematically to the “Power & Glory” concept of Fairey’s works in the Halsey. “We are very excited to present the work of this important international artist who happens to be from Charleston. It has been a pleasure working with him to present his work in his hometown,” said Mark Sloan.
Jasper Johns will be represented by a series of sixteen prints made with in collaboration with master printmaker Bill Goldston at Universal Limited Art Editions in New York. This selection will emphasize many of Johns’ recurrent motifs and themes over the past thirty years. Curator Mark Sloan says “with this selection I hope to demonstrate the process through which Jasper Johns recycles imagery and ideas within his work. Beginning with a 1982 print of a Savarin coffee can all the way through a 2012 series called Shrinky Dinks, 1-4. These works contain the graphic elements for which Johns’ work has become synonymous – flags, face/vase, targets, stars, and the pottery of George Ohr, to list a few. Through a special arrangement with ULAE on Long Island, we are able to borrow some of Johns’ most iconic works for this exhibition.
This exhibition is one of several special events planned in celebration of the 30th anniversary year. While the Halsey institute is best known for showing the work by emerging and mid-career artists, director Mark Sloan wanted to ”highlight the accomplishments of two native sons as a way to demonstrate the fact that important contemporary art can originate anywhere.” Both Fairey and Johns have had a long association with the Halsey Institute and this exhibition brings these two celebrated artists together for the first time in their home state.
To accompany the exhibition, the Halsey Institute will be producing a 116-page catalog of the work in Shepard Fairey’s exhibition after the show closes. The catalog will include all of the images as well as installation photographs and documentation of the installation of public works. The catalog will contain an essay by Mark Sloan, Director and Senior Curator of the Halsey Institute, as well as an interview with the artist. Additionally, international filmmaker Brett Novak has been commissioned to produce a video about Fairey’s Charleston project, which will be shown to the public during the exhibition. Novak will follow the development of Fairey’s exhibition from conception to completion, including the installation of the outdoor works.
ABOUT THE HALSEY INSTITUTE
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston provides a multidisciplinary laboratory for the production, presentation, interpretation, and dissemination of ideas by innovative visual artists from around the world. As a non-collecting museum, we create meaningful interactions between adventurous artists and diverse communities within a context that emphasizes the historical, social, and cultural importance of the art of our time.
For more information: Contact the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art by calling (843) 953-HICA (4422) or visiting halsey.cofc.edu
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas
44 x 60 inches