Magazine article Artforum International

James Rosenquist:Menil Collection and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Magazine article Artforum International

James Rosenquist:Menil Collection and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Article excerpt

As an art student at the University of Minnesota, James Rosenquist found work painting grain elevators and storage tanks. He also learned the billboard painter's trade and later, as a Pop artist, made art of images scaled up to the hypervisibiity of the signage along America's highways and in its big cities. Soon after his first show at New York's Green Gallery, in 1962, Rosenquist emerged as the sole practitioner of what might be called the Times Square sublime--in contrast to the abstract sublime of Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman.

Organized by Walter Hopps and Sarah Bancroft, the Houston exhibitions--early works at the Menu Collection, later ones at the MFA- contain nearly two hundred canvases, prints, and other works on paper (and even a few sculptures) from every stage of his Rosenquist's career. At the New York Guggenheim, the two shows will merge and be joined by F-III, 1965, which Rosenquist described at the time of its making as a comment on advanced technologies--some of which, he said, "seemingly can't be dealt with, they're so sophisticated." Many have seen F-III as a protest against the Vietnam War, yet it is also about our immersion-- possibly our complicity-in the currents that shape our society. F-III is a walk-in painting. Ten feet high and eighty-six feet wide, it covered four walls when it first went on view, at the uptown Castelli Gallery. Often shown flat since then, it will return to its original format at the Guggenheim.

Like Roy Lichtenstein, Rosenquist had a secret life in the late 1950s as a second-generation Abstract Expressionist. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.