description of Land's End by Jasper Johns

Streaks and smears of rusty gray, black, and blue oil paint cover this five-and-a-half-foot tall, four-foot wide canvas. The patches of thick paint, muddy brushstrokes, and metallic palette create the look of a grimy, industrial wall. Half of a large circular smear fills our upper right hand corner, and a thin downward pointing arrow appears in a rectangular shape beneath it. On the left hand side, an outstretched black arm reaches up from the bottom of the canvas and ends in an actual hand-print. The patches of paint that cake the canvas imply three horizontal bands, each featuring a word produced with an industrial stencil. At the center of the uppermost band, the word ‘RED’ has been written in small uppercase letters using red paint, and is the brightest point on the canvas. In the middle section the word ‘YELLOW’ has been added using gray, blue, purple, and black paint. In the bottom third the word ‘BLUE’ has been stenciled in red, blue, and black paint. Beneath it, an orange letter ‘U’ appears on its side, as if slipping off of the canvas.

Jasper Johns, Land's End, 1963
Jasper Johns, Land's End, 1963; oil on canvas with wood, 67 in. x 48 1/4 in. (170.18 cm x 122.56 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson; © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Land's End
Artist name
Jasper Johns
Date created
1963
Classification
painting
Medium
oil on canvas with wood
Dimensions
67 in. x 48 1/4 in. (170.18 cm x 122.56 cm)
Date acquired
1972
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson
Copyright
© Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/72.23
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

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