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Jasper Johns Numbers

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

How does this work reflect the artist's style and the themes and approaches of the art movement the artist is associated with?

I feel that Jasper Johns work reflects interest in the process of creating art. His style is experimental and spontaneous that leads him to understand the subject matter. His style changes and evolves as he discovers through the experimentation of print and technique. He was substantially influenced by Duchamp’s "readymades", which demonstrated Johns' early concern for the craft of painting with an everyday, almost absurd, subject matter.

The simplicity and familiarity of the subject matter piqued viewer interest in both Johns' motivation and his process. Johns explains, "There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists." His paintings are simplified in subject matter and color as seen in the painting of “Numbers”. The style is typographical and more design graphical than you’d normally find in a painting. The number seems to be stenciled and effects of color washed over it for evoke transparency and the play on opacity. Magenta, the printing ink color, in added on the “3” which confirms the printing practice behind Johns work. The yellow paper, possibly a collage, creates an interesting contrast and messages the sequence of numbers i.e 3,4... I enjoy his work and connect with his experimentation because my first major is in graphic design in the print industry.

JASPER JOHNS Painting with Two Balls I Universal Limited Art Editions, 1962 Lithograph: 3 stones 26 1⁄2 x 20 1⁄2' Ed. 26/39

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