Gray Alphabets (ULAE 57) (1968) by Jasper Johns

Gray Alphabets (ULAE 57) - Jasper Johns - 1968

Artwork Information

TitleGray Alphabets (ULAE 57)
ArtistJasper Johns
Art MovementAbstract Expressionism

About Gray Alphabets (ULAE 57)

The artwork titled “Gray Alphabets (ULAE 57)” was created by Jasper Johns in 1968. As an embodiment of Abstract Expressionism, it falls under the genre of abstract art. Johns’ work from this era frequently engaged with themes of language and symbolism, and “Gray Alphabets” is an exemplar of this interest, positioning itself within the legacy of Abstract Expressionist exploration of form and meaning.

Upon examining the artwork, one can discern a series of stenciled alphabets arranged in a dense, gridded composition. The letters appear in various shades of gray, overlaying and juxtaposing against one another, which creates a textured and almost palimpsestic effect. The monochromatic palette amplifies the focus on the formal qualities of the letters and their interplay across the canvas. The repetition of the alphabet seems to suggest an interest in the elements of communication and signification but undermines their usual functionality by rendering them in an abstract, undecipherable order. This tension between recognizability and abstraction is a significant aspect of Johns’ artistic approach and contributes to the intrigue and complexity of the work.

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