Jasper Johns’ lithograph titled “Device” was created in 1961-62 and measures 29 7/16 x 20 1/4 inches. The lithograph was published and printed by Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE), with only six editions produced. This piece was part of Johns’ exploration of moving beyond Abstract Expressionism, with motifs such as numbers, the American flag, and the alphabet. Johns had a penchant for using the American flag as a recurring motif in his work.
The lithograph is an example of Neo-Dadaist art, contrasting traditional techniques with unconventional materials like flags and maps while focusing on the familiar symbols from everyday life. His use of these everyday objects forces viewers to examine their relationship with familiar objects and question their perceptions of them. Telamon Editions Limited started publishing Jasper Johns prints in 1970 after being founded by Tatyana Grosman.
Johns’ paintings interrogate how we look at and understand our world. As a result, Device is intended to encourage scrutiny into the ways we see things differently by presenting two images side-by-side utilizing an overlaid mesh-like scrim pattern distinguishing itself from his earlier work.
Overall, Jasper Johns’ artwork has been renowned for its unique approach towards tapping into the hidden depths within everyday scenarios through abstract means that invite viewers into a paradoxical world full of contradictions designed to challenge one’s understanding of reality itself.