We use threes in art to define structures like primary, secondary and tertiary colors on a color wheel. Sir Isaac Newton developed the first color wheel in 1666. The three Greek column classifications are Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
Three Flags (1954-1955) by the American artist Jasper Johns is one of a series of flag paintings by the artist.
Johns was making something new: recognizable, but different. And in Johns’ hands, flags — sacred objects to many — are a bit off-putting, intentionally. He paints, in his words, “things the mind already knows” and makes us see them differently.
“Trying to take you off your guard a little bit as a viewer — slow down and look in a new way,” Heyler says.
Johns also made a series of target and number paintings during the same period. In this piece the artist painted three separate flags and attached them to each other, creating a three-dimensional object.
“Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.” Jasper Johns.
Jasper Johns Flag Interview
Jasper Johns Flag interview
Jasper Johns – An Allegory of Painting 1955 – 1965
Jasper Johns an Allegory of Painting 1955 - 1965
While Johns’ painting extended the allover compositional techniques of Abstract Expressionism, his use of these techniques stresses conscious control rather than spontaneity.
The mature work of Jasper Johns begins in 1955 with his use of the American flag.
In the expressionist paint strokes of John’s flags, the vocabulary of geometry reentered American art. And the application of painterly richness of surface to a commonplace American icon signaled the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art.
Three Greek columns; Ionic, Corinthian and Doric made up of the capital, shaft and base. Of the three columns found in Greece, Doric columns are the simplest. They have a capital (the top, or crown) made of a circle topped by a square. The shaft (the tall part of the column) is plain and has 20 sides.
There is no base in the Doric order. The Doric order is very plain, but powerful-looking in its design. Doric, like most Greek styles, works well horizontally on buildings, that’s why it was so good with the long rectangular buildings made by the Greeks. The area above the column, called the frieze [pronounced “freeze”], had simple patterns.
Above the columns are the metopes and triglyphs. The metope [pronounced “met-o-pee”] is a plain, smooth stone section between triglyphs. Sometimes the metopes had statues of heroes or gods on them. The triglyphs are a pattern of 3 vertical lines between the metopes.