LA’s Broad Museum Will Be Sole US Host of Major Jasper Johns Show

It's the first major Johns show for California in more than 60 years

Jasper Johns, Flag (1983). Courtesy of Sotheby's New York.
Jasper Johns, Flag (1983). Courtesy of Sotheby's New York.

The privately owned Broad Museum in Los Angeles, founded by mega-collectors Eli and Edythe Broad, has reaffirmed its commitment to hosting traveling exhibitions with news that it will host a major Jasper Johns show next year. “Something Resembling Truth,” is currently on view at London’s Royal Academy.

Spotted at the VIP opening of Art Basel in Basel, Eli Broad told artnet News: “We’ll be the only other venue in the world,” to host the sweeping six-decade survey of the artist’s work.

Broad was accompanied by Broad Museum director and longtime curator Joanne Heyler, who added, “There hasn’t been a full survey of Johns in Southern California since 1965.” When she heard about the RA’s plans years ago, Heyler immediately proposed working with them, she told artnet News.

The news is certainly encouraging to the art world, particularly with the prospect of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on the chopping block under Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

Heyler also addressed the question of indemnity insurance and the fact that the Broad might be unique in its ability to undertake this show. “Museums rely on that program, and it’s relatively low cost. I don’t think the public is aware of how important [it] is as the art market pushes prices up and up,” she said, gesturing around at the well appointed stands at Art Basel. Ending the program would “have serious cultural consequences,” she said.

Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight noted this in a Twitter exchange. “Story neglects to mention a salient reason. Broad can afford the insurance, even without a federal indemnity,” he wrote in a tweet.

The Broad has already committed to host Yayoi Kusama‘s blockbuster “Infinity Mirrors” show that is currently on view at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington.


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