Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jasper Johns in Indy: On a Telephone Pole Opposite North Central High School

I found these roman numerals reminiscent of the artwork 
of Jasper Johns. Various incarnations of the numerals 
encompass a large volume of his work, from paintings 
and drawings, to lithographs and etchings.
Although not strictly a "pop artist," his work often employs 
imagery from popular culture, so he is very often included
among the artists from that movement. Johns conceived
of his most famous painting, Flag, after having 
a dream about the American flag. As a student, I became 
enamored of his drawings of numbers and spent 
a great deal of time poring over images
in art history books.

Flag, encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted
on plywood, 1954- 1955

Jasper Johns enjoys taking familiar objects, such as the flag
and numbers, and using them to explore how viewers' perceptions 
of them changed as his use of various media converted
them into objects of great beauty and finesse. 

Ten Numbers (Detail), 1960- 1971. Lithograph


dive said...

Cool! Well spotted, Speedway.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, except these are not Roman numerals - those are the ones with I V X L C D M and so forth. I believe we call them arabic numerals. But they are derived from Hindu number systems.

William Kendall said...

I've only heard of Jasper Johns in passing...

Speedway said...

Thank you, Dive. Over time the numbers have been replaced by a system of plastic tags in slots, but every once in a while, I find one with these nice old numbers.

f1f3,etc., perhaps I should have typed "roman-style numbers." The typeface I use to create my post is a roman style font called Times Roman, but appears on the webpage as a sans serif font.

William, maybe you are a bit too young to know the impact the Pop Art movement had on contemporary art. He's elderly now, but still making art.