Jasper Johns, ‘False Start II’, 1962, Christie's

Signed and dated in blue pencil, annotated 'II" and numbered 22/30 (there were also six artist's proofs), published by ULAE, West Islip, New York, with their blindstamp, a fine impression, with particularly strong coloration, with margins (reduced at the lower edge), very pale time staining, otherwise in good condition, framed
Image: 17 ½ x 13 ¾ in. (445 x 349 mm.)
Sheet: 28 x 22 ¾ in. (711 x 578 mm.)

From the Catalogue:
Jasper Johns created False Start II during his initial flurry of creative output at the Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) print shop in the early 1960’s. At the time ULAE was already becoming famous among artists as a true lithographic workshop in the mode of the important printmaking studios in Europe and its founder, Tatyana Grosman gifted Johns his first lithographic stone in 1960. Robert Blackburn, a master printer at the studio during this time worked with Johns on False Start II and his other lithographs from this period and helped achieve the heavily built up surface Johns requested.

Unlike the earlier version of this image False Start I, which used the same eleven stones to achieve a bright iteration of the composition in primary colors, False Start II is a darker variant with different layers of black and grey tones. Considered one of the most elaborate lithographs Johns ever conceived, the work illustrates how technically gifted the artist had already become in the medium.
—Courtesy of Christie's


About Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns's ongoing stylistic and technical experimentation place him at the forefront of American art. His richly textured paintings of maps, flags, numbers, and targets laid the groundwork for Pop art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. In New York in the 1950s, Johns was part of a community of artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, seeking an alternative to the emotional nature of Abstract Expressionism. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Johns's early work paired the concerns of craft with familiar concrete imagery. His interest in process also led to innovations in lithography, screen-printing, etching and woodblock, using such materials as pencil, pen, brush, crayon, wax, and plaster to constantly challenge the technical possibilities of printmaking.

American, b. 1930, Augusta, Georgia, based in New York, New York