Preeminent American artist Jasper Johns has been aligned--along with Robert Rauschenberg--with the advent of Pop Art. Although not a Pop artist himself, Johns incorporated recurring popular icons and motifs into his painting, sculpture, and prints, such as American flags, targets, stenciled words, and numbers that mimic the proliferation of imagery during the 1950s and 1960s.
Although Johns often attaches three-dimensional objects to his paintings, Flashlight is one of his earliest pedestal-based sculptures. Cast in bronze, Flashlight is the final version of an earlier work that was originally created with sculpmetal, a pliable claylike substance that, when dry, emulates metal. Supported by two iron bars that align the object with the base, Johns ironically comments upon the tradition of sculpture as a rare, precious object by transforming the utilitarian item into sculpture.
Johns' The Critic Smiles (1969) is on view in The Andersen Window Gallery in Gallery 4 and Flags (1965) is on view in Gallery 5.