(b Augusta, Ga., 15 May 1930). American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. His career has been closely associated with that of Robert Rauschenberg, and they are considered the leading figures in the move away from Abstract Expressionism to the types of Pop art and Minimal art that succeeded it. They met in 1954 and were close friends until 1962, when they broke up with some bitterness (for a time they were lovers, sharing a triangular relationship with a woman). In the early 1950s Johns worked as a commercial artist in New York, doing display work for shop windows. He began to emerge on the art scene in 1955 and had his first one-man show at Leo Castelli's gallery in New York in 1958. This was an enormous success, and since then he has become one of the most famous (and wealthy) living artists.
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)