A master painter and printmaker, Jasper Johns was born in 1930 and burst on the art scene in the late 1950s with his first flag and target works, paving the way for conceptual art in his semiotic and perceptual exploration of signs and symbols. Referencing in his work "things the mind already knows", Johns' imagery may be quotidian in nature, featuring familiar objects such as ale cans or the American flag, but they bring with them a… Read more
About the artwork
This silkscreen is a prime example of Johns' signature crosshatch works of the 1970s. This graphic technique—traditionally used to add depth and volume to a picture—preoccupied the artist for over a decade. Johns once commenting that "It had all the qualities that interest me—literalness, repetitiveness, an obsessive quality, order with dumbness, and the possibility of a complete lack of meaning." Crosshatching provided Johns with a repeatable pattern, a grid of reference, abstract and devoid of associations, that highlighted the flatness of the work's surface and thus subverting the technique's original purpose. Untitled marks the moment Johns forged his own form of abstraction, making it a key piece in this great artist's practice.