Lot 87
  • 87

Jasper Johns

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Jasper Johns
  • 0-9 (ULAE 19)
  • ten lithographs
  • sheets approx.: 520 by 395 mm 20 1/2 by 15 1/2 in
The rare portfolio of ten lithographs printed in colors, 1960-63, extremely fine, fresh impressions, each signed in pencil, dated '’63' and inscribed ‘c/c 3/3 artist’s proof’ (the edition was ten printed in colors, plus 20 in black), four of the lithographs also inscribed by the artist ‘Proof to replace stolen’, on Angoumois paper with the Jasper Johns watermark, each with the blindstamp of the printer and publisher ULAE, West Islip, New York, also with title and justification pages and introduction by Robert Rosenblum, the original linen folder and basswood box (the box stamped with the edition number) (10 prints)


The full sheets, in very good condition. 0- Yellow (extremely slight discoloration in the right edge) 1- Green: tiny paper imperfection just to the right of '1' 2- Blue: in good condition 3- Purple: in good condition 4- Red: very slight scuff at left, 1 inch from edge of the sheet at center. 5- Orange: tiny paper imperfection in the margin at upper right, another scuff just above the pencil inscription at lower left 6- Brown: in good condtion 7- Black: in good condition 8- Grey: a few tiny rust flecks 9- White/Beige: a few tiny rust flecks The paper for three of the stolen inscription prints matches the rest of the set, however the paper for number 6 is the same paper but most likely out of another batch. Please note that numbers that are inscribed 'Proof to replace stolen', the signature, numbering, dates etc. are written lower down on the sheet. Cover, text and justification pages in good condition, apart from slight discoloration in the outer edges. The title page with four slight skinned spots in the corners, verso, from removal of old hinges. Original linen cover with some fox marks.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

"I like to repeat an image in another medium to observe the play between the two: the image and the medium. In a sense, one does the same thing two ways and can observe differences and samenesses – the stress the image takes in different media.”
Jasper Johns (when asked in an interview why he reused images in his prints)


Robert Rosenblum, the preeminent professor, curator, critic and author of the text for 0-9, was one of the first scholars to write about Jasper Johns’ use of numerals, targets and the alphabet.  He wrote in 1963 that Johns’ “flags and targets, numbers and letters... heroically attempt to find again those qualities of ritualistic beauty, symbolism and discipline once provided to artist and public by standardized classical and Christian iconography.” In 1960, Tanya Grosman sent Johns a lithographic stone to tempt and provoke him to start working with her at Universal Limited Art Editions. Subsequently, after he explored the subject matter of “numerals” in oil, encaustic and graphite, in 1963 he produced three portfolios, one printed in black, one in grey, and one in colors.  In using the same stone for the different numbers, and in making discreet changes to the stone with each subsequent number, Johns exploited the idea that both change and continuity are inherent in a numerical sequence.

The artist’s closeness to Rosenblum is undoubtedly why he was asked by the artist to write the preface to this important portfolio.  And it was also undoubtedly out of this respect and admiration for Rosenblum that Johns replaced four of the lithographs in this set when they were stolen in the 1960s, and inscribed them specially, “Proof to replace stolen.”