Johns has looked to other artists for motifs and patterns to serve as compositional elements in his own work. While many of his references have been identified—from work of the modern master Pablo Picasso to that of Matthias Grünewald of the Renaissance—here Johns presents a shape traced from an unnamed work. He decided not to make the source known because it might hamper spontaneous responses. To date, the Green Angel motif has appeared in over forty paintings, drawings, and prints.
Gallery label from Focus: Jasper Johns, December 5, 2008–February 16, 2009.