James Rosenquist - POp ARt

James Rosenquist (November 29, 1933 – March 31, 2017) was an American artist and one of the protagonists in the pop art movement. Drawing from his background working in sign painting, Rosenquist’s pieces often explored the role of advertising and consumer culture in art and society, utilizing techniques he learned making commercial art to depict popular cultural icons and mundane everyday objects. While his works have often been compared to those from other key figures of the pop art movement, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Rosenquist’s pieces were unique in the way that they often employed elements of surrealism using fragments of advertisements and cultural imagery to emphasize the overwhelming nature of ads. He was a 2001 inductee into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.Wikipedia"James Rosenquist  was born in North Dakota and studied studio art at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. In 1955, he moved to New York City where he studied at The Art Students League for one year and met artists from the generation that preceded Pop art (the Abstract Expressionists). In 1960, he rented a studio in a building in lower Manhattan that housed several artists who also became well known, including Ellsworth Kelly and Agnes Martin (whose studio Rosenquist took over). He became friends with other artists working nearby, including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsburg were leading figures in American literature during this time while Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Thelonious Monk were predominant on the entertainment and jazz scene in the circles frequented by Rosenquist. Before renting the studio in lower Manhattan to focus on his fine art career, Rosenquist had worked as a commercial artist in Brooklyn and Manhattan painting the same motifs over and over. In his own words: I painted billboards above every candy store in Brooklyn. I got so I could paint a Schenley whiskey bottle in my sleep. From the late 1950s, along with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Rosenquist was instrumental in creating work that established what became known as a significant art movement: Pop art. He became particularly well-known for the use of visual advertising techniques and images repurposed for his fine art career in the 1960s and the huge billboard-size paintings he began creating in the 1970s. The inspiration for his compositional style and scale came from Rosenquist’s experience as a billboard painter in the American Midwest and in New York City in the 1950s. Some of Rosenquist’s works stand three to five meters tall and measure ten meters in length – one even exceeding 27 meters. “Rosenquist wanted to break with the idea of the picture plane in painting, instead creating the feeling of walking into an illusion. That’s the reason he used these massive and overwhelming, almost immersive, picture planes, which he, in some cases, constructed as entire spaces. Here, viewers are immersed by the work and will have the opportunity to dive into the painting in a visual sense,” says Lise Pennington, chief curator, ARoS, and curator of the exhibition. "(en.aros.dk)

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