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0 through 9
0 Through 9
In 1967, Jasper Johns embraced the technological age by producing this lithograph entitled ‘0 Through 9’, which was originally an oil painting created in 1961. It consists of the numbers 0 to 9, meticulously overlaid one upon the other within a rectangular area, creating a kaleidoscope of figures that battle each other for the viewer’s attention. The original painting, which was full of vibrant colors and sharp, bold contours, was dramatically altered. All color was removed except for the blacks and whites, rendering the details of the superimposed numbers much more visible and intense. Johns re-created this lithograph numerous times in response to the ever changing digital age. The symbolism, however, never changed. The artist meant for this iconic picture to represent his personal view of a world whose system has been built on the interpretation of different signs. This bold statement was carried in each of his ‘0 Through 9’ renditions over the years. Jasper Johns is one of the most important figures of lithographic printing in the 20th century, working with masters such as Robert Blackburn.
Analysis and Quotes
In 1979, Johns enlightened the public on his printmaking repetitions by stating, “I like to repeat an image in another medium to observe the play between the two: the image and the medium. In a sense, one does the same thing two ways and can observe differences and samenesses-the stress the image takes in different media.”
In a review of Johns’s overall compositions, David Sylvester wrote, “…Johns's marks articulate matter on a surface so that it becomes an objective correlative of sensations such as, say, looking without focusing, looking fixedly, looking out of windows, looking into darkness, seeing things grow, seeing them sicken, seeing the passing of a day, feeling threatened, feeling nothing, feeling elated, feeling tears prick the back of one's eyes.”
The ‘0 Through 9’ lithograph from 1967 by Jasper Johns is currently located in the U.L.A.E. Collection.
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