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Jasper Johns’s first truly abstract artworks are his “Crosshatch” paintings and prints, which he developed from 1972 to 1983. These compositions feature hatched lines in various colors, though the term “Crosshatch” is a bit of a misnomer—Johns’s lines never cross over one another, but rather fit together like puzzle pieces. Johns found inspiration for this pattern on a passing car. “I only saw it for a second, but knew immediately that I was going to use it,” he remembered. “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.”

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