The Halsey is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and they're doing it up big with a summer exhibition of works by American art heavyweights Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns. When they announced the show last fall, we wondered how director Sloan was going to connect the two artists — Fairey began his career as a street artist and now works in the gray areas between fine, commercial, and street art, while Johns began his career as an abstract expressionist and developed a new style that rests on the idea of representing the familiar in new, unfamiliar ways.
The Halsey exhibition is titled The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns, and will feature new works by Fairey (including a series of large murals the artist will create in different spots around town) and prints from between the years 1982 and 2012 by Johns. The raison d'etre for the pairing, according to the press release, is each artist's repeated use of specific graphic elements, which grow and change in meaning as they're placed in new juxtapositions. Halsey director Mark Sloan curated the show, and has spent the better part of last year scouting mural locations with Fairey. In a statement, he said that with this show he wanted to "highlight the accomplishments of two native sons as a way to demonstrate the fact that important contemporary art can originate anywhere."
The show opens May 22, the day before the Spoleto Festival USA begins. The exhibit will run through July 12.