"One thing is not another thing," said Jasper Johns in 1965. His art celebrates this self-evident truth. Thus a Flag, a broom, a word makes a declaration of independence simply by being what it is. Johns doesn't permit these declarations to become overly assertive; sometimes he undermines them. Asked why he marked with an X an image in a print called Bent "Blue" (1971), Johns said he wanted to show that "it's not too important what's there." Also, he added, "It's of great importance what's there, because that is what is there"—a scrap of the funny papers, as it happens, and for the artist an instance of unimpeachable isness. Instances of isness serve him as emblems of the unentangled autonomy a person might have. One might be a discrete presence, truly and inalienably oneself.