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  • Untitled (Red, Yellow, Blue) framed by Jasper Johns

Untitled (Red, Yellow, Blue) framed by Jasper Johns

Petersburg Press

Etching and Aquatint


Edition Size: 77

Image Size: 34 x 24.25 inches

Sheet Size: 42.25 × 29.75 inches


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Untitled (Red, Yellow, Blue), 1982
Series of three etchings:
Plate 34 x 24.25 in. / 86 x 62 cm.
Paper 42.25 × 29.75 in. / 107 x 76 cm
Silver gilt frame 45.5 x 35 x 2 in. / 116 x 89 x 5 cm
Each etching from two copper plates on Rives BFK paper. Each is signed by the artist and dated ’82 lower right in pencil, numbered 69/77 lower left in pencil. Printed at Atelier Crommelynck, Paris.

These etchings traverse classic Johns motifs: the artist’s handprints, dots, and arrows. While Untitled (Yellow) initially appears black and white, the use of a tone plate tints its shadows subtly yellow. The word Yellow is printed in stenciled capital letters upon a stroke of black which extends beneath a handprint. Across the composition, scribbled lines fill organically circular dots on a painterly black ground. A downward-pointing arrow is sketched casually within a white frame. The dynamic composition has a smooth movement to it: the hand with its yellow arm seems to reach up, and the arrow moves downward, pointing to the lower edge of the paper (or perhaps, with the artist’s dry wit, the arrow nudges viewers to look down at their own bodies in relation to the hanging work).

Untitled (Red) is printed with a tone plate that imbues the image with a warm red tint. The titular “Red” is inked in dark grey and appears to glow a bright white. Written in looping cursive, the word “blue” appears lower center, on a small draped banner tacked up with a nail on each side. The tone plate for Untitled (Blue) tints the image with the slightest blue-gray, imparting a solemn tranquility. In this set of three etchings, Johns’ text, mark-making, shades, and shapes coalesce in thought-provoking visual harmony.


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Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns, the American born Neo-Dadaist and Pop artist is often cited for his infamous series, the “Flag” and “Target.” In both groups of works his key traits are portrayed: the use of American imagery, painterly brush strokes, and repetition.

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