Jasper Johns / Ten Numbers: Figure 4 / 1960Jasper Johns
Ten Numbers: Figure 4

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Creator Name: Johns, Jasper
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1930
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Augusta, Georgia
Creator Name-CRT: Jasper Johns
Title: Ten Numbers: Figure 4
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1960
Creation End Date: 1960
Creation Date: 1960
Object Type: Drawings and Watercolors
Classification Term: Drawing
Materials and Techniques: charcoal and graphite pencil on paper
Dimensions: Sheet: 31.1cm x 27.6cm
Inscriptions: each drawing is titled, signed, and dated, below the image in blue ball-point pen
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 2001.10.e
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Copyright: Art: © Artist or Artist's Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Rights: www.vaga.org

Jasper Johns emerged as a major figure in post-war art with a landmark show at the Leo Castelli gallery in New York in 1958. Over the next decade, he established his reputation with a type of imagery that has become iconic for the twentieth century: Flags, Targets, Numbers and Alphabets depicted in a variety of techniques and media, including paintings, drawings and prints.

Works of this type by Johns have had a profound impact on subsequent art because they address basic questions about perception and the nature of representation itself. In Ten Numbers, Johns developed the forms from commercial stencils, as he does for all of his number and alphabet imagery. The use of such "found" shapes-one that are pre-determined and widely recognizable-are meant to challenge the way the viewer looks at a type of sign normally so common as to be banal.

Ten Numbers is one work in ten parts, with the numerals 0 to 9 each represented on a separate sheet of paper. Using a soft charcoal stick as a basis, Johns heavily worked this media with brushes, a stump (a tight roll of cloth or leather), and his own hands, developing a rich surface. His aim seems to have been to index, with each number, the different ways he could make marks using charcoal.

Link to Work: CMA_.2001.10.b
Link to Work: CMA_.2001.10.a
AMICA ID: CMA_.2001.10.e
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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