In his work from 1972 to 1983, Jasper Johns used a distinct arrangement of crosshatched marks, traditionally considered a graphic method of adding depth and volume to an image or conveying the illusion of light in space. John first glimpsed this pattern on a passing car, recalling:
I only saw it for a second, but knew immediately that I was going to use it. 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.
Emphasizing the flatness of the painting, Johns's cross-hatching is gestural without being emotive; in this sense, the technique extends his larger critique of overtly expressionist models of painting. Johns forged a new model of painterly abstraction, using a schema that is repeatable and ordered but not strictly geometric or reductive.