Jasper Johns' Color Numerals series is a captivating exploration of numbers which marries the simplicity of everyday symbols with the complexity of visual perception. Created in 1969, this lithograph series exemplifies Johns' fascination with the ordinary, transforming numerals into subjects of profound artistic inquiry through vibrant colour and texture.

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Meaning & Analysis

Jasper Johns, an artist renowned for his innovative contributions to American art, particularly in the realms of Pop Art and Neo-Dada, has consistently blurred the boundaries between the mundane and the profound. His Color Numerals series stands as a testament to this exploratory spirit, presenting a sequence of numbers, from Figure 0 to Figure 9, each imbued with a unique visual identity through the use of colour, texture, and composition.

This series is not merely a representation of numbers but a deeper investigation into the symbols that permeate our daily lives. By isolating each numeral and presenting it as the sole subject of a work of art, Johns invites viewers to contemplate the cultural and personal significances attached to these universal symbols. The use of vibrant colours and dynamic textures further enhances the visual impact of each figure, transforming the familiar into something new and engaging.

Johns' approach in the Color Numerals series reflects his broader interest in the themes of perception and identity. Through this work, he challenges the viewer to see beyond the immediate and the functional, to explore the aesthetic and conceptual possibilities inherent in everyday objects and symbols. This series also underscores Johns' mastery in manipulating various artistic mediums, demonstrating his ability to convey complex ideas through the simplicity of form and colour.

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