Wednesday, February 18, 2015

0-9, 1961 Jasper Johns

This is one in a series by Jasper Johns of numbers 0-9 superimposed onto a canvas. According to Jasper Johns. org, There is a total of five the same size as this (including one in grisaille), three smaller ones on paper, one in metal relief, one pastel, a drawing and a lithograph. The series started with the drawing of 1960, the first work in which he mastered the difficult problem of superimposition. Johns had long been fascinated by numbers as a theme for painting, and in fact his earliest surviving work, 'Construction with Toy Piano' 1954, already incorporates a row of numbers. His other early pictures with numbers include 'Figure 5' 1955, which has a large 5, and a series begun about 1957 in which the numbers from 0 to 9 are repeated over and over again in rows. Some of these works are in bright colours and some in white or grisaille. 

Johns said to have done this because the eye fixates on one number at a time when looking at the painting. 

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